2016 was a year drowned in unfortunate events and its a year to be forgotten for many — with the likes of big celebrities leaving us, from George Michael and Carrie Fisher to Prince and David Bowie. But 2016 was a huge year for hardware gadgets as well. Here re some of the biggest stories that happened:

1. The Exploding Of Galaxy Note 7s

Regarded as the best smartphone of 2016, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was at the pinnacle of the combination of a phone and a tablet. However, due to the unfortunate incident which occurred on the Note 7, Samsung was at the forefront of what is arguably the biggest consumer safety disaster in the history of smartphones.

The Note 7 was expected and supposed to be Samsung’s most sold, crowd-pleasing, and the “smartest” device. But a while after its released, the company start to received multiple reports of their Notes overheating, catching fire and in some worst case, exploding.

As more of the device start to receive complaints, Samsung has voluntarily recalled all the phones worldwide and even the Consumer Product And Safety Commission issued its own recall as well. The company promised to replace all the Note 7s, but much to the surprise, the replacement phones began to display the same defects too which ultimately forced the tech giant to recall the Galaxy Note 7 for good. Check out some other Android smartphones below as well.

2. Where’s The Headphone Jack Apple?

Time and time again, Apple has been known for pushing the boundary with a visionary move and being ahead of the curve on hardware. But the one annoying change made by the company is yet another visionary yet annoying move — completely kill the traditional 35mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Instead, users wanting to listen on their iPhones must now use Apple’s wireless headphones, Airpod. Alternatives can be found from third-parties as well, or you could use a separate dongle to hook their still-corded earbuds through another port on the iPhone.

Alternatively, check out these wireless headphones too, if you’re not a fan of those tiny earpods.

3. Pebble Acquired By Fitbit

Another success story from Kickstarter, Pebble, went downhill to Kickstarter consumer warning story in 2016. Pebble smartwatches were once gadgets that gave wearable greats like the Apple Watch, Garmin watches and Fitbits a run for their money. But after all that, Pebble was acquired by Fitbit purely for its software tech and is slowly slaughtering off Pebble hardware.

While Pebble has assured its consumers that the 2 million Pebble watches sold out there will “continue to work as normal”, the company has also added “Pebble functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future.” This means, in simple terms, at some point of time, Pebble owners will have their luck run out in terms of keeping their watches functioning and updated.

Related Stories: Garmin VIVO Smartwatch

4. Google Ventures Into Hardware yet Again

In October 2016, Google has once again made a big commitment in the consumer hardware space and launched a bunch of new devices. Like the old Google Nexus phones, the Google Pixel is the company’s new Android phone that goes toe-to-toe with the premiums, iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7. Also to combat the Amazon Echo, there’s Google Home, Google Wi-Fi to answer Eero and Google Daydream VR to give the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR a run.

This actually isn’t the first time Google has laid hands on consumer hardware like smartphones. In 2012, Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.6 billion only to change its mind and sold it for only $2.9 billion two years later.

Related: Orion Virtual Reality Goggles

5. Snapchat Spectacles

Right after their success on social media, making “doggy’ faces on selfies, the company has decided to become a hardware company as well. Snapchat made a bold move to rebrand itself as Snap, Inc. and has recently released its new Spectacles sunglasses that allows you take 10-second snippets of video and upload them on Snapchat.

So there you have it, the “huge-est” news in the hardware industry. What do you think some of the notable gadget stories of 2016 were? We’d like to know more, let us know below in the comment section!

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