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We say that something has bells and whistles when it has impressive, flashy accessories but which, in the end, are unnecessary. When something is innovative and with high technology, we say that it is state-of-the-art but if it contains excessive features, it has bells and whistles.
In modern times, many new technological advances have been reached especially when it comes about electronics. The “bells and whistles” depict those unnecessary additions to equipment. Of course, these additions are a marketing plus to make customers buy those items at a higher cost but they do not really affect the good working of the product.