What a year 2017 has been! There was never a shortage of first-rate products that we deemed worthy of being someone’s GadgetMatch.
As we approach the end of the year, it’s about time we hand out awards for what we feel have been the best of the best we’ve experienced.
In no particular order, here they all are:
Best Premium Smartphone — Apple iPhone X
We’ve been blessed with countless premium smartphones this year, but nothing tops the iPhone X. The overall performance is unmatched, and with the class-leading OLED display and dual-camera setup, you have a smartphone for the ages.
Best Midrange Smartphone — OPPO R11s
Without a doubt, 2017 has been the year of midrange smartphones, and the OPPO R11s has led the pack. It takes everything that made the original R11 great and added an even more gorgeous build and AI-powered selfie camera.
Best Budget Smartphone — Xiaomi Mi A1
Xiaomi has always made fantastic budget-friendly smartphones, but they really hit it out of the park with the Mi A1. With its pure version of Android and solid overall specifications, you almost forget how affordable it actually is.
Best Productivity Smartphone — Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Losing the Galaxy Note 7 was such a blow to consumers, but the Note 8 more than made up for the loss. It’s not just the most gorgeous Galaxy Note ever, it also has the best set of cameras we’ve ever seen on a Samsung, as well as a perfect match between the AMOLED display and iconic S Pen.
Best Selfie Smartphone — Huawei Mate 10 Pro
The only things more beautiful than the Mate 10 Pro are the selfies you can get out of this phone. As great as the image quality of the rear cameras is, the front-facing shooter produces the best portraits we’ve seen on any handset this year.
Best Special Edition Phone — Nokia 3310
Nothing hits tech fans harder than nostalgia, and no product did it better this year than the new Nokia 3310. It retains the best qualities of the original 3310 — durability and ease of use — and modernized itself to fit seamlessly into 2017.
Best Laptop — Apple MacBook Pro
If you need a laptop that can do it all while looking absolutely perfect, you must go for Apple’s latest MacBook Pro. You can’t go wrong with the impeccable build quality, superb display, and innovative touch bar for unmatched levels of productivity.
Best 2-in-1 Convertible — Acer Switch 7
It’s difficult to believe that such a slim convertible can have a dedicated graphics chip — without a built-in fan no less! But here we are with the Acer Switch 7, the first of its kind. It even comes with a battery-free stylus and fingerprint reader right under the display. Talk about tech overload!
Best Gaming Machine — ASUS ROG Zephyrus
NVIDIA and Intel’s latest components have made gaming laptops slimmer than ever, and ASUS has maximized their full potential with the ROG Zephyrus. Its innovative cooling system and gaming-optimized display only add to its already powerful design.
Best Wearable — Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro
Making a gadget both stylish and highly functional is tough, but Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 Pro manages to pull off both with ease. Take it with you on a swim or run to track all your vital stats while looking cool at the same time.
Best Professional Camera — Sony A9
Sony’s A9 is the culmination of years of mirrorless camera evolution elevated to the next level. It shoots so fast at full resolution with its full-frame image sensor, making it perfect not only for sports photography, but for professional-level videos, as well.
Best 360 Camera — Insta360 ONE
The Insta360 ONE proves that 360 cameras don’t have to be clunky and difficult to operate anymore. It’s such a joy to use with the sensational photos and videos it can produce, and shooting is as simple as plugging into a phone and playing away!
Best Action Camera — GoPro Hero 6 Black
This is the action camera you want to take with you on your next adventure. As the successor to the highly popular Hero 5 Black, the Hero 6 Black ups the quality and shooting speed while keeping the signature rugged and waterproof design GoPro is famous for.
Best VR/AR Experience — Star Wars: Jedi Challenges
Becoming a Jedi has never been as fun and simple as this! Lenovo’s Star Wars: Jedi Challenges places you in the world of lightsaber battles, Holochess, and strategic combat using a trio of easy-to-install augmented reality accessories.
Best Drone — DJI Spark
DJI has had class-leading drones for the masses for a while now, but it was the Spark that truly set the standard for what a more affordable drone can do. It’s as compact as a smartphone and can be controlled using just hand gestures!
Best Vehicle — Ford Ranger Wildtrak
A pickup truck has to be tough, roomy, and powerful; the Ford Ranger Wildtrak is all that and more. With new features centered around comfort and safety, this vehicle is perfect for getting you from one point to another with the least amount of resistance.
Best Toy — Sphero Spider-man
How’s it going, Spidey? Sphero once again brings an iconic character to life with this super-cute Spider-man toy. With loads of voiced content, animated eyes, and easy connection to your wireless network, you’ll never feel bored in your home again!
Best Gaming Console — Nintendo Switch
Was there any doubt about the Nintendo Switch taking home this award? With a growing library of games on top of its already stellar lineup and strong emphasis on multiplayer mayhem, this is the gaming console you’ll want to spend time with at home and on the go.
Best Smart Speaker — Google Home Mini
We’re already attached to our Google Home from last year, but this smaller, cuter model is even more lovable. The Google Home Mini does everything its larger and more expensive sibling can do, including intelligently answering all your questions and handling music duties like a personal DJ.
Best Printer — Prynt Pocket
Who says printers have to be boring? The Prynt Pocket blew us away with its ability to print a photo which we could scan and turn into a video using a smartphone. It’s the perfect mix between traditional media and new-age, always-connected technology.
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Image Source: Joshua Vergara (Nintendo Switch)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Huawei P50 Pro: Camera shootout
Can Huawei’s latest flagship phone keep up with the Samsung’s greatest Galaxy yet?
The Huawei P50 Pro may not be a direct rival to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in terms of camera hardware (that’s more the Galaxy S22+), but this is also a good chance to compare and see if Huawei’s latest flagship can keep up with the biggest brother in the whole Galaxy S22 lineup.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 13MP f/2.2 shooter while the P50 Pro has a 12MP UWA camera of the same aperture — albeit with difference in the overall focal length / angle.
There’s a gap between the main cameras The S22 Ultra has a 108MP while the P50 Pro has a tad smaller 50MP camera — but both still having an f/1.8 aperture.
Can the smaller sensor keep up with the bigger one?
For a fair and square fight, I only used the first telephoto camera of the Galaxy S22 Ultra versus the Huawei P50 Pro’s sole zoom lens.
When shooting in Portrait Mode, one smartphone uses its 3x Telephoto Zoom lens while the other sticks with its 50MP wide camera. But which is which?
Once the sunset is out, smartphones tend to change their AI algorithm in making low-light shots brighter but with less noise
Unlike low-light photos taken using the Auto Mode, Night Mode is more suitable for making night shots pop with the right amount of highlights, shadows, and contrast altogether.
BONUS: 10x Zoom
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a dedicated 10x telephoto lens while the P50 Pro only relies on digital zoom and AI when zooming in on 10x.
Which are your top photo picks? It may already be obvious to some of you at the beginning but here are the results:
Photo A – Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Photo B – Huawei P50 Pro
Despite Huawei not making the P50 Pro+ variant, it’s still safe to say that this camera shootout between the top-tier flagship phones of each brand is still pretty close.
Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra may have the better camera hardware out of the two, but it doesn’t mean that the P50 Pro is a slouch when it comes to camera performance.
As a matter of fact, it was able to keep up from day ’til night. If we’re looking at the specifics, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a wider main camera whereas the P50 Pro has a wider ultra-wide camera. The difference in optical zoom lenses was also evident.
But in some shooting scenarios, the Galaxy S22 Ultra won especially when it comes to processing HDR (High Dynamic Range), sharpness and details, as well as overall exposure and contrast in most wide and zoomed shots.
And just like in my P50 Pro review, the AWB (Auto White Balance) when using Night Mode (or shooting in low-light for that matter) leans more into the warmer range of the spectrum whereas the Galaxy S22 Ultra is more on the cooler (or maybe neutral) one.
While my P50 Pro vs Galaxy S21 FE camera shootout looks more comprehensive with 60 photo sets, being able to show half in this camera comparison article still proves a point that the Huawei P50 Pro can keep up with Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphone yet.
GadgetMatch Awards: Best of CES 2022
Plenty of new gadgets and tech to be excited about this year and in the future
It’s not quite the CES 2022 that many envisioned thanks in large part to the surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. But, there were still plenty of new gadgets and tech to be excited about this year and in the future.
Here are our picks for the best of the best at CES 2022.
Best Auto Innovation: BMW Color Changing Car
CES continues to be the home of possibly the coolest things ever and this Color Changing Car from BMW might just be one of the coolest.
The BMW iX Flow uses E Ink technology to change how the car’s exterior looks. The car contains millions of microcapsules as thin as a strand of hair. Much like the E Ink you’ll find inside a Kindle, electricity causes the microcapsules to shift between black or white. Mind. Blown.
Best Smart Mask: Razer Zephyr Pro
Speaking of cool, Razer just gave us a smart mask that is not only helpful during the pandemic but is also pretty snazzy.
The Zephyr Pro looks just like the earlier version except for one small detail: speaker grilles around your chin. The mask can amplify your voice for up to 60 decibels at a range of one meter. That said, the mask does not have a voice changer, so if you want to sound like Vader, you’ll have to do it manually.
Best Foldable: ZenBook 17 Fold OLED
ASUS has done it again. The company continues to be a pioneer in innovative PCs — from dual-screen creative devices to 2-in-1 gaming machines. This time, they dabble into foldables with the ZenBook 17 Fold OLED.
It looks like a more refined version of the ThinkPad X1 Fold first showcased by Lenovo. The leaps in tech are massive because of its foldable OLED screen the specs that the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is packing.
Best Sustainability Effort: Lenovo ThinkPad Z
Lenovo is doubling down on sustainability. This is apparent on both the materials used on the Lenovo ThinkPad Z Series as well as the Yoga 6. Here, they used materials like recycled aluminum available in arctic grey or black and recycled black vegan leather.
This extends to the packaging. The materials are made from 100 percent recyclable and compostable bamboo and sugarcane, and the AC power adapter uses 90 percent Post-Consumer Content (PCC).
If you’re the pessimistic type, it’s easy to look at these efforts as nothing more than a corporate attempt to tick sustainability check box. But, this is still a good example and one that other manufacturers can take a cue from.
Best Gaming Laptop: ROG Flow Z13
Technically, ROG is calling this a tablet more than a laptop. The form factor is more reminiscent of Microsoft’s Surface Pro which they say is a device category on its own. Regardless of how you see it, it’s a thin and light, multi-mode device that has the power to handle AAA gaming.
It’s already pretty darn powerful on its own, but like the ROG Flow X13, it can get even more powerful with the existing ROG XG Mobile GPU or the revamped one with an AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT GPU
Best Dual-Screen Laptop: ThinkBook Plus Gen 3
We’ve seen dual-screens on laptops before but not like this. Instead of just occupying the upper part of the keyboard layout, Lenovo opted to put an 8-inch display to the right side of the keyboard of the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3.
Lenovo believes this is a more mobile solution for anyone who is accustomed to using a second screen or display for their workflow. The screen also supports pen input which should also be useful for some creatives.
It’s an unusual placement for such a massive second screen and we’re excited to put it through the paces ourselves.
Best Business PC: Lenovo ThinkCentre neo
Lenovo is no stranger to providing computer support for large corporations. Their ‘Think’ line of devices is present in plenty of offices worldwide. In 2022, they are doubling down on their corporate efforts with the ThinkCentre neo line.
It’s composed of desktop PCs adorned with not only the necessary hardware for proper performance, but also the necessary software for privacy and security. This means companies can rest easy knowing their most confidential information is safe and secure and is easily accessible across their devices.
Best Product Refresh: ROG Zephyrus Duo 16
We’ve all heard of the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But ROG doesn’t seem to care for it as they continue to build on some of the best form factors they’ve released in recent years – more specifically, the ROG Zephyrus Duo 16.
This was first showcased in 2020 and this year it’s getting specs-boost and plenty of refinements to make it even better. The 2022 version is a Windows 11 machine powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU at 150W with Dynamic Boost for high-end horsepower.
There’s also a version featuring ROG’s new Nebula HDR tech for the ultimate HDR gaming and movie-watching experience.
Best Wearable: Garmin vivomove Sport
Garmin has just brought out a hybrid smartwatch that’s perfect for casual users. The vivomove Sport blends fashion and functionality, even for an entry-level device. It fuses technology with an analog look so you can always track your health, fitness, and connections.
More importantly, the vivomove Sport carries Garmin’s in-depth features without breaking the bank. Truly a watch to be enjoyed by casual users getting into an active lifestyle.
Best Smart Home Device: Samsung Freestyle
Samsung knows how to stand out with the launch of its portable projector called The Freestyle. It’s a versatile, lightweight device that lets you play music and project videos any way you want it. You can watch a show on the ceiling or project it onto your walls – you decide your entertainment experience.
Further, it can double as a smart light on your corner since you can attach it to a standard E26 light bulb socket. A fun gadget worth adding into your smart home, if you have the budget for it.
Best Gaming Monitor: Samsung Odyssey Ark
Samsung’s push into the PC gaming space is stronger than ever. Turning heads at CES 2022 is this curved 55-inch, 4K behemoth of a gaming monitor – the Samsung Odyssey Ark.
Other than the usual wide-angle usage, it can go into a new vertical cockpit-style rotating display that provides a new gaming experience and allows portrait or landscape orientation for multi-tasking and multi-window setup.
It sounds and looks insane that we feel a little sorry we didn’t get to try it for ourselves on the CES showfloor.
Best Innovation: John Deere 8R Tractor
The intersection between tech and food production is one that isn’t talked about much. Regardless, John Deere continues to innovate in this space. Their latest – the John Deere 8R Tractor – is one for the books.
The tractor is fully autonomous, has multiple cameras for monitoring and can be controlled using Deere’s John Deere Operations Center Mobile app. Farmers can just drop the tractor onto their fields and configure the tractor with simple swipes. They can then leave the field to focus on other tasks while the tractor works. With the app, farmers can change settings, access the tractor’s cameras, and check the vehicle’s status.
Best Lifestyle Accessory: L’Oréal ColorSonic
Dyeing your hair is fun, but quite tedious as a task. And a horrible experiment can send your hair frizzing and looking hideous. With salons still temporarily closed caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are looking for solutions to dye their hair easily and beautifully.
L’Oréal unveiled the Colorsonic — a lightweight, handheld device dispensing the right dose of hair dye, applied through a nozzle of bristles that evenly distribute the color. It makes dyeing your hair easy in less than an hour. So you can dye your hair, rinse, style, and go.
Best VR Device: Sony PlayStation VR2
It’s been over a year since the release of the PlayStation 5. And while it’s still not widely available for everyone, Sony PlayStation has already announced the VR companion for the said console.
The system will come with new sensory features, enhanced control tracking, and higher visual fidelity. On a more technical side, the PlayStation VR2 will come with eye-tracking features, 4K HDR support, foveated rendering, enhanced field of vision, and more responsive controllers called The Sense.
Best TV: Sony A95K
Sony Bravia has always been one of the leaders in TV technology, but in this year’s CES, it looks like they’re taking a big step forward with the Sony A95K.
It features the XR Backlight Master Drive technology which is powered by Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR that precisely controls backlight for incredible brightness, as well as deep blacks and mid tones for a better and more immersive viewing experience.
The Sony A95K is also perfect for streaming and gaming. It has Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode and BRAVIA CORE Calibrated Mode for perfect viewing. It also has Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode making it Perfect for the PS5.
Best of 2021: Lifestyle Favorites
Discoveries that complement our new way of living!
Lifestyle n. the way in which a person or group lives.
This year, the GadgetMatch team discovered lifestyle products — accessories, technology, and other essentials — that complement their new way of life.
These discoveries helped improve the team’s lifestyle, and will continue to do so in 2022 and beyond.
instax Link WIDE: Favorite novelty
In an era where we’re losing time, people, and places — fleeting memories are being immortalized. Instant printers such as the instax Link WIDE helps turn your favorite moments into films or tangible pieces of memories you can hold on to even when everything else has already changed.
Apple AirPods 3: Favorite wireless earbuds
Among all the wireless earbuds that came out this year, Apple’s AirPods 3 still proved to be the king — focused on features that make it appropriate for most people. The upgrades are significant to attract both those looking to upgrade from the previous AirPods, or those who are looking to get their first one. Further, this device is stamped with the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval!
realme Hair Dryer: Favorite styling device
Your hair is your crown, so it makes sense to keep it healthy and make it look presentable at all times. The realme Hair Dryer helped us care for our hair and scalp, and even helped skyrocket our confidence after a good blowout.
Galaxy Watch4’s Body Composition: Favorite device feature
In our quest to lose fat and gain muscle, we’ve come to love the Galaxy Watch4‘s new Body Composition tool. The technology is called Bio Impedance Analysis — basically, little charges of electricity are shot through your body to tell how much is fat, and how much is skeletal muscle. It’s definitely a feature we enjoy using in our fitness journeys.
realme Beard Trimmer: Favorite grooming device
The realme Beard Trimmer ticks the right boxes that first-time groomers would look for: affordable, sleek, premium-looking, easy-to-use, and offers precise cutting. Time to achieve that sexy stubble!
Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick Edition: Favorite fashion piece
From the get-go, the FreeBuds Lipstick looks, feels, and delivers on lavish lipstick vibes. If you don’t look closely, it can definitely fool you! But if you think it’s just a pretty-looking device, that’s where you’re wrong.
The Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick is a lovechild of lush luxury design and cutting-edge technology. It’s still a pair of wireless earphones that offer both a stunning appearance and an excellent audio experience!
Anker Nano Pro: Favorite travel accessory
Even with its compact size, the Anker Nano Pro can charge your smartphones smartly and quickly — making it the perfect charging essential to bring wherever you go. It also comes with yummy colors to match your personality!
Nintendo Switch OLED: Favorite gaming console
You still probably don’t need a new Switch (if you currently own one) but you’re really going to enjoy playing on this larger, more vibrant screen.
It reminded us why we love the Switch so much — we can play our favorite games as we would on any other console, but easily take it with us as a portable gaming device on the train, on a holiday, at the park, or just when we would much rather chill outside our patio.
NanoLeaf Lines: Favorite smart home accessory
The NanoLeaf Lines transform your homes into something like a YouTuber’s home, but with more personality. Its ultra-lightweight lightbars create sleek linear layouts and geometric shapes so you can have a unique space that you can call yours.
XTREME Coffee Machine: Favorite home appliance
You don’t have to take a walk or a drive-thru in the cafe a few blocks away, especially when you have XTREME Home’s 1.5L Coffee Machine. It made brewing coffee easier even if you’re used to traditional brewing methods, or you’re just learning how to serve coffee for your loved ones.
Samsung The Frame 2021: Favorite TV
The best technology is the kind that fades into the background. Samsung’s The Frame offers the ability to display art, customize the way the art looks, and have its display optimized for displaying it. And its no-gap wall mount lets it sit flush against a wall. If you value art and design, then Samsung The Frame can easily be your GadgetMatch.
Tempo Move: Favorite workout technology
Tempo’s new sub-$400 system fits into a console table, and we’re loving it! Not only that they have a lot less space than regular home gym systems, but it also uses advanced tech like the LiDAR sensor on your iPhone.
LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier VoiceOn: Favorite health device
If you’re someone who’s tired of maskne and uncomfortable masks, then this is something for you. Especially if you intend to talk throughout the day — it makes sure you’re both heard and protected.
Arcwave Ion: Favorite sex technology
The Arcwave Ion helped resolve tension in the age of self-distancing. Our Associate Creative Director proudly took a trip to the Big O and made his sensual sessions reach new heights. Certainly, it’s a device to support you in self-discovery, and self-pleasure while your carnal desires can’t be fulfilled for now.
Ford Territory: Favorite vehicle
Whether going on a ride alone or with friends and family, the Ford Territory gave us superb comfort and convenience so we can own every moment. As a car, the Ford Territory is more than worthy as a daily driver. As a tech device, the Ford Territory packs in so many creature comforts to keep its riders entertained throughout a drive. It’s definitely a car you’d love to own as a techie today.
JBL Horizon 2: Favorite speaker
The JBL Horizon 2 provides a multi-faceted sound system for any living space. It comes with speakers with great audio quality suited for those lovely sound trips while indoors. With relative ease, you can connect almost any kind of device with Bluetooth and enjoy hassle-free volume control.
Mujjo Leather Wallet Case: Favorite smartphone case
You can never go wrong with leather, especially Mujjo’s leather wallet cases. They’re functional, efficient for commutes and short-distance trips, durable, stylish, and looks better over time.
Sierra Blue: Favorite color
Sierra Blue is definitely not a color of the year, but a statement to consider and incorporate into your looks and style in the months to come. It’s charming, sophisticated, and subtly makes you look neat, polished, and well-groomed.
adidas UltraBoost 21: Favorite sneakers
The latest iteration of the adidas UltraBoost is more performance-oriented and more comfortable at the same time. You can go into an adidas store and try them on, and we’re certain you’ll walk away impressed. Maybe, you’ll also walk away wearing these sneakers — like we did.
Lenovo M2 Electric Scooter: Favorite mobility solution
Lenovo parades the M2 Electric Scooter as a creative, mobility solution that allows commuters to travel short distances safely and securely. At a time where safe, effective public transportation is scarce due to the pandemic, an electric kick scooter is a warm welcome.
Sony a6600: Favorite camera
When one of our cameras went under repair at the height of the pandemic, we sought solace in the prowess of the Sony a6600. It’s compact, lightweight, yet powerful enough to take on our needs when it comes to product photography, lifestyle shoots, and video production.
Hometown Cha Cha Cha: Favorite Netflix Originals
Hometown Cha Cha Cha is a healing series for a reason. When we live in an era where it’s difficult to process grief, the Netflix Originals series showed us how people uniquely process their emotions in between cheerful banters, heartwarming scenes, and kilig moments.
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