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Apple- Have you got your hands on a bright yellow iPhone 5c? Nowadays, a gadget available in only black or white has little chance of catching-on. The new yellow, green, blue and red iPhone 5c exist for a reason, as do Samsung's rainbow-colored range of S4 smartphones. Those, and zillions of others of gadgets, are cashing-in on a new penchant for color, but why? Is it that we're now a cheerier, more imaginative bunch after something more creative-looking? Are we all desperately seeking gadgets that help us express our individuality, quietly ignoring the fact they're mostly mass-produced on production lines in China? Or does the previously mostly monied gadget-buying audience now extend to a younger generation? We suspect the latter, since the makers of perhaps the priciest gadget for the home – the flat screen TV – persist in marketing their creations in whatever colour the market wants. As long as it's black. For everything else, there's a choice of colors just waiting to for you to match your zany, devil-may-care personality to. Now, who wants to sell us a gold iPhone 5s?



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Samsung- Fashion victims rejoice, for there's a new accessory genre in town. Available as a brushed aluminium-silver with either a black, white, orange, brown, yellow or green strap, the new 'inspired by a watch' (snigger) Samsung Galaxy Gear (USD $299) is perhaps the most reliant on colour of all modern gadgets. The first watch that lets the wearer receive and make calls without taking a phone out of a pocket, Gear answers phone calls as it's raised to your ear. A possibly more disruptive feature of Gear is a 1.9-megapixel outward-facing camera embedded on the colorful strap itself. Activated by swiping a finger slowly down the 320 x 320-pixel, 1.6-inch screen, followed by a tap, the camera can shoot in square or 4:3 shapes, and film video in square (640 x 640), VGA quality (640 x 480) or widescreen HD (1280 x 720). There's also a 'memography' mode to store 'visual notes', which we can see being used by creatives, law enforcers and, err, black-mailers. A slave device only to recent Samsung smartphone and tablet products such as the S3, S4 and Note, Gear won't work with an iPhone or any other Android brand. Samsung describes it as a 'future fashion icon'; for now, that's probably all it can be.

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Nokia- Black and white versions are sold, but it's the yellow version of Nokia's latest Windows phone that makes this an attention-grabbing device to equal its super specs. Weighing just 158g, the Nokia Lumia 1020 (ฃ600) is 10.4mm slim, which makes its packing-in of a 41-megapixel sensor something of an achievement. Easily the most impressive smartphone-shooter around, and with a crazy colour scheme, the 1020 appears to be aimed at the semi-serious photographer, with Zeiss optics and a Xenon flash the other highlights. The 6x zoom lens is unique, while the 1020 – powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor – has a Nokia Pro Cam app that offers the kind of manual adjustments and editing that has, until now, only been found on D-SLR cameras. There's an audio angle, too; a Nokia Rich Recording app allows the capture of stereo sound, which adds to the 1020's ability to shoot in image stabilized Full HD quality.

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Microsoft- Released at the end of October, Microsoft's slightly rebranded Surface 2 (USD $450 for the 32GB model, USD $550 for the 64GB model) comes with some all-new colour options for its keyboard-meets-cover. Available in blue, pink, purple or black for 'that personal touch', the snap-on Surface Cover is absolutely. Integral to the Surface 2 as a proposition. Marketed as a productivity tablet – as opposed to the iPad, which is only for pleasure, according to Microsoft – the Surface 2's super-thin keyboard cover is designed to act like a regular keyboard. Close it and the Surface 2's display switches off, of course. Boasting a 10-hour battery life, it's just possible that Microsoft is on to something here; as well as making the Surface 2 come alive in various colour covers, this second-gen tablet comes with 200GB of free storage on SkyDrive, as well as unlimited Skype minutes. But will that – and those color options – get people talking about the Surface 2?

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Samsung - It seems that if you want to sell a serious phone, you have to have some serious colour options, too. Samsung – the originator of the all-white TV when the Xbox 360 first launched – has its finger closer to the pulse of personal electronics trends that most, which is why, we suppose, its latest flagship smartphone. comes in some 'limited edition' colours. They're probably not limited at all, but the five new colors for the Galaxy S4 (USD $587.99) are rather fetching. Available now in Blue Arctic, Purple Mirage, Red Aurora, Brown Autumn and Pink Twilight, Samsung is attempting to bring back some element of exclusivity to what is by now one of the world's most common smartphones. However, we're not sure if those colors gel all that well with the new Galaxy Gear smart watch's colour options, despite the close integration; Smart Relay means that when you receive an email alert on colourful Gear and start to read it, you can then pick up your unusually painted Galaxy S4, which will already be displaying that email. But they won't match. The horror!

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Sony - You should never judge a book by its cover, but it's hard not to when it's bright red. Sony's latest attempt to challenge the Kindle does so largely on available colour options and general build quality, with the PRS-T3 Reader (around USD $160) available in red, white and black. All have a metallic construction that. other ebook readers just don't offer, which is arguably as attractive as the red colour option itself. With the Kindle now the de facto ebook reader in the market, Sony's shocking red Reader might just have a chance. The six-inch size is judged about right, with the PRS-T3 Reader's curved metallic rear feeling both solid and well-made, with its circa 200g weight light enough to hold in one hand. However, Sony is obviously desperate for market share since the PRS-T3 Reader ships with a cover included – and this smooth leather-and-suede affair is a smart move indeed. There's no illumination to the E Ink Pearl screen, which is something of a surprise, but there are other nice touches; a three minute Quick Charge gives you enough battery power for a whole novel.

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Panasonic - Available in orange and blue only, this 'tough' camera presents Panasonic's opinion of what outdoor-grade gadgets should look like. Of angular machined aluminum between a hard plastic skeleton, the Panasonic DMC-FT5 (USD $450) is perfect for hikers, climbers, sailors and even snorkelers; it's waterproof down. to 12 meters and shock-proof to two meters. However, we're not sure if it's tough enough for ruddy-nosed skiers or Northern Lights-hunters; the DMC-FT5 is freeze proof only to -10˚C. It's not just made to survive water, but to excel in it. An underwater shooting mode color corrects the image – re-inserting the red light filtered-out by water – to make shots look richer. Armed with a Leica lens capable of a just-enough 4.6x optical zoom, on dry land the DMC-FT5 produces sharp, colourful 16.1-megapixel images. It's on-trend in smart features, too, with built-in W-Fi that allows both remote monitoring and browsing by a smartphone, as well as NFC for easy sharing with newer Android tablets and smartphones.

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Jawbone- Sold in Blue Wave, Grey Hex and Red Dot as well as basic black and white, the Jawbone Jambox (around USD $160) is one of the better-looking of the current crop of Bluetooth speakers. Promoted as gadget to pair with a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone while in the garden, the park or camping (as if) the Jambox is at its most useful when carried around the home, most likely into the bathroom. As well as pairing with a smartphone for playback of music and podcasts, the Jambox can also act as a hands-free speaker; when a call comes in the music fades-out, and its built-in microphone activates. The battery on the 345g Jambox lasts about seven hours, recharging over micro USB. It might be the best-looking Bluetooth speaker on sale, but sound quality – while bassy enough for most purposes – isn't the best around. However, it's build quality make it a great all-purpose option.

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Onkyo- There are few better examples of how gadgets are changing hue than in so-called street-wear – and that means headphones. The white-colored Beats by Dr Dre have been around for yonks, but isn't it time for some seriously good headphones? Better known for producing cut-price AV receivers it might be, but Japanese audio brand Onkyo this year pumped-put its debut ES-FC300 (USD $240) headphones to rapturous acclaim. Available in purple (as well as more conservative black and white), Onkyo's ES-FC300 is decked-out in machine-engineered aluminium, though it's the simple, soft headband and comfy enclosing ear-cups we like best. Excellent clarity and detail dominate, with plenty of low frequency action on hand, too. It also features gold-plated MMCX connectors and a customised audiophile-grade – and virtually tangle-free – cable that extends to 110cm. With the colourful ES-FC300, Onkyo has hit a purple patch in more ways than one.

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Edifier- This diminutive speaker system for a laptop or desktop PC recognizes the trend for consumer electronics to match-up with interior design ambitions. Sold in ten different colours, the Edifier Aurora MP300 Plus (around USD $80) – winner of the RedDot Design Award – is unusual in that it includes a small two-inch sub-woofer, rated at 15W, that's supposed to be mounted on the desktop, too. Another neat design trick on this 2.1 audio system is the volume controls, which are planted on just one of the two magnetically-shielded, spherical satellite speakers. The sound they create is unexpectedly bass-heavy and crisp, too. Using brushed aluminium styling, the Edifier Aurora comes in Asphalt grey, Electric blue, Liquid silver, Luminous yellow, Midnight blue, Original red, Passion pink, Spicy red, Stormy black and Tangy orange. That extensive choice makes it possible to match the Aurora to a wide range of other coloured smartphones and MP3 players.

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Logic3- We're not sure Fernando Alonso wears these in the cockpit of his F1 car, but the use of colours on the Ferrai by (around USD $435) is a natural step. Business class-grade noise-cancelling is what they're all about, and little else; without a couple of AAA batteries ensconced in one of the beautifully engineered earcups these headphones don't work at all. However, the noise cancelling works very well and the sound quality impresses across the range. They're easy to travel with, too – there's an ergonomic two-way folding design along with options for in-line controls for either Apple or Android smartphones or tablets. The Ferrai logo on the outside of one of the earcups also works as a pause button. Part of Logic3's Scuderia Ferrari Collection, the Ferrai by Logic3 R300 headphones are available in two versions, one dominantly black and one dominantly white, but both with plenty of Ferrari red, and a hint of yellow. A version adorned in soft light-brown leather is also available.