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)
GadgetMatch Awards: Best of IFA 2019
Everything from your work to your home
IFA has always been home to some of the best tech releases each year and IFA 2019 is no different. This year we got a device that’s the first of its kind, machines for creators, and plenty of smart things useful for your home.
Here are the best of the bunch.
The follow-up to our favorite from last year, the Nokia 7.2 continues HMD Global’s tradition of building excellent, affordable, premium smartphones.
Veering away from the usual aluminum unibody in favor of a polymer composite, the Nokia 7.2 maintains durability while keeping the weight down to make room for a larger battery.
The phone is headlined by a 48MP camera sensor along with two other lenses: one that’s ultra wide and one that’s a depth sensor. Nokia developed new camera software to go along with the usual Zeiss hardware. This makes for photos with stunning image quality.
The Nokia 7.2 is in every respect what a flagship killer needs to be — combining the best of what the brand is known for, excellent hardware, pure software, and top-notch optics.
Samsung Galaxy Fold
The Galaxy Fold is Samsung’s new Pièce De Résistance, a device that gives users a taste of the future today.
After a major setback following its initial launch, Samsung went back to the drawing board to work on a fix. And if there’s any company that knows how to jump back up after a crisis it’s them. At IFA, the Galaxy Fold made its global return, the new and improved Fold is tougher and more resilient than ever, and most likely, THE foldable phone to beat!
Samsung BeSpoke Refrigerator
Have you ever wished to have a fridge that fits exactly with the design of your new home? There’s nothing more customized than Samsung’s BeSpoke Refrigerator.
Customization is king for this fridge. You can choose your refrigerator size, the number of doors, and a multitude of color combos. Name it, and Samsung will build it. That’s more control than you ever thought was possible with refrigerators.
Thinking about what to have for dinner and actually preparing it can be cumbersome. But it doesn’t have to be with the Bosch Cookit.
You can think of it as either an all-in-one food processor with cooking function. Or an all-in-one cooker with the slicing and dicing built-in. But perhaps the best thing about it is how you can connect it to the Home Connect App for a step-by-step guide on a variety of dishes you otherwise probably wouldn’t even think about preparing yourself.
Being able to prep and cook in the same machine is exactly what we need, where do we sign-up?
ASUS ProArt StudioBook One
There are laptops for creators, and then there are machines for those who need even more power. Engineers, industrial designers, video editors working for video production houses.
For all these users and then some there’s ASUS ProArt StudioBook One — possibly the most powerful laptop in the world today.
Powered by the latest Intel Core i9 processor, and the new NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 graphics card it can literally handle anything you throw at it — rendering 8K videos, 3D graphics and animation, you name it, this beast of a machine can handle it.
Lenovo Yoga C940 14 and 15
For many years, Lenovo’s Yoga line has set itself apart as the premier 2-in-1s, and this year’s Lenovo Yoga C940 14 and 15 are no exception.
Easily our favorite laptops from IFA 2019, they come with up to a 10th generation Intel Core i9 processor, supercharging workflow and performance. You can even get it with the NVIDIA GTX 1650 to boost overall graphical performance if you need that extra oomph for video editing.
The Lenovo Yoga C940 is a powerhouse 2-in-1 designed for creators and creative professionals.
Lenovo Smart Display 7
We’ve been fans of Lenovo’s lineup of smart displays since they were first launched a year ago. But because of its size, the Lenovo Smart Display 7 has got to be our favorite. The device is petite enough to squeeze into an already cramped bedside table, or in a corner of your kitchen counter.
And for the uninitiated, a smart display is Google Assistant on steroids. It can show and tell your schedule, answer your questions, entertain you with music, videos, and music videos, and keep your hands-free when you’re trying to follow a tutorial.
Lenovo Smart Tab M8
It’s very clear which role the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 wants play. It intends to be your go-to device for entertainment.
With its 8-inch LCD panel display, it’s perfect for more intimate Netflix or YouTube sessions. But when you’re not holding it up, it also comes with a docking station and can function almost like the Smart Display 7.
Huawei Freebuds 3
Huawei has never been shy about putting their products up against Apple’s. And the Huawei Freebuds 3 is no exception. It’s essentially the AirPods, but better.
The Huawei Freebuds 3 clearly has its crosshairs on the AirPods. One look and you know that’s what Huawei was going for. It’s not the earbuds that some people find intrusive. These fit nicely in your ear without feeling invasive.
The other thing that sets it apart is adaptive noise cancellation. The Freebuds 3 is supposedly capable of 15-decibel ambient noise reduction. That’s remarkable for its size and easily blows the AirPods out of the water.
Oh and, it comes in black.
Huawei Kirin 990
Huawei’s Kirin 990 feels like a chip infused with the speed force.
Unlike other chips, the Kirin 990 incorporates 5G components on the same die. It saves space plus enables devices it’s equipped with to reach download speed up to 2.3Gbps, and upload speed of up to 1.25Gbps.
It uses two big, two middle and four little cores to optimize multitasking, with clock speeds of 2.86GHz, 2.36GHz, and 1.95GHz respectively. It’s flat out a speed demon.
LG G8X Dual Screen
LG is staking its claim on dual screens and the company might be onto something.
The LG G8X Dual Screen is an improvement of the similar tech employed on the LG V50 ThinQ. You connect the secondary screen via USB-C (USB-C everything!) instead of pogo pins. It does pretty much everything the first iteration can, but better.
You can tilt the second screen at any angle you like and it also folds all the way so you can use the LG G8X like you would a regular phone. You can go as far as calling this a semi-foldable and we wouldn’t hate you for it.
It also doesn’t hurt that LG opted to keep the headphone jack along with discrete Quad DAC that audio enthusiasts love so much.
While its competitors are going foldable, LG’s approach to innovation is practical, and we cannot recommend it more.
Philips Hue Vintage Bulbs + Smart Buttons + Smart Plugs
If you’re the type to go for a classic look, then the Philips Hue Vintage Bulbs will make you light up.
It’s reminiscent of the old incandescent light bulb, but made with light-emitting diodes instead of glowing tungsten. These new smart bulbs, much like everything on the new lineup unveiled by Philips will now work with Bluetooth. This will make it easier to invite users as you now only need to buy a single bulb to see if you’re open to getting more. Previously, the Philips Hue Hub was a required purchase since the system only worked with Zigbee but Bluetooth changes all that.
Philips also showcased new Smart Buttons and Smart Plugs. The button offers multiple controls. Press once to turn on/off. Press twice to change moods, and long press to dim up or down. The Smart Plug, meanwhile, will let you add lamps and string lights into your entire setup. Pretty neat and handy!
TCL Ray Danz Soundbar
TCL already makes some of the best TVs in the market today, so an equally excellent soundbar was only a matter of time.
The TCL Ray Danz Soundbar, much like anything on TCL’s lineup, promises good quality without exorbitant price tags. It has front-firing and sideways-firing speaker drivers to create a natural and wider resonance to elevate your Netflix and chill experience.
It also worked with Dolby Atmos to produce a 360-degree surround sound without the need for extra upward-firing drivers. As important as is a great display, is great audio, and if you’re looking for an excellent soundbar that doesn’t break the bank, look no further.
GadgetMatch Awards: Best of Computex 2019
The best from Asia’s biggest tech show
Now that we’ve seen the best Computex 2019 has to offer, it’s time for the GadgetMatch team to dish out awards for the most deserving products.
Make no mistake about it: The chosen ten below have stood out for being the cream of the crop in their respective categories.
Here are all ten awardees of our Computex 2019 awards:
Best Smartphone — ASUS ZenFone 6 Edition 30
Computex 2019’s most impressive smartphone by far is the ZenFone 6 Edition 30 from ASUS. On top of all the high-end specs that make the original ZenFone 6 so great, this special edition smartphone exudes ASUS’ iconic concentric-circle pattern on the rear as well as an Edition 30 logo to commemorate the brand’s 30th anniversary. Only 3,000 will be made available — now that’s special!
Best Laptop — ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo
This year’s Computex saw ASUS taking secondary laptop screens to the next level. The ZenBook Pro Duo shines with a massive 4K touchscreen situated above the keyboard, providing a whole new dimension of interactivity. Combined with the primary NanoEdge OLED display and flagship specifications, the ZenBook Pro Duo stands out as not just the best laptop of Computex 2019, but also the most innovative notebook this year.
Best Gaming Laptop — Alienware m15
Leaner and more powerful than ever, the Alienware m15 proves that even slim gaming laptops can handle the most demanding of video games. It’s the world’s first 15-inch notebook featuring Tobii Eye Tracking technology for that competitive edge. It’s also built with the latest Intel and NVIDIA chips, as well as Alienware’s own Advanced Cryo-Tech 3.0 tech for maximum cooling efficiency, making this the best 15-inch gaming notebook of Computex 2019.
Best Convertible — Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
It looks like Dell has created the ultimate convertible, and it’s called the XPS 13 2-in-1. With a 4K InfinityEdge touch display and support for Dell’s Premium Active Pen, this is a multimedia creator’s dream. It even includes Intel’s newest 10th-generation Core processors, an edge-to-edge MagLev keyboard, and up to 16 hours of battery life, so you’re never left wanting more out of the XPS 13 2-in-1.
Best Mobile Chipset — MediaTek 5G SoC
MediaTek is now one step ahead of its competitors in the mobile 5G realm. MediaTek’s 5G SoC is the world’s first 7nm mobile chipset with an integrated 5G modem. It’s a single chip with the latest Cortex-A77 CPU and Mali-G77 GPU, plus the Helio M70 5G modem. With a theoretical maximum download speed of 4.7Gbps and upload speed of 2.5Gbps, this chipset will power the slimmer and more efficient 5G phones of the future.
Best Laptop Chipset — Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G
Qualcomm is ready to become more present than ever on consumer notebooks, specifically those that are connected to the internet all day. The Snapdragon 8cx from last year is back and it now has the X55 modem, enabling seamless 5G connectivity on the go along with incredible battery life. Designed to turn laptops into true road warrior companions, the Snapdragon 8cx 5G may very well power the next generation of mobile computing.
Best Prosumer Laptop — Razer Blade Studio Edition
Razer’s new Blade 15 Studio Edition and Blade Pro 17 Studio Edition laptops are part of the first wave of NVIDIA Studio-branded machines with systems designed specifically for creators. They come in an attractive Mercury White finish and pack a 4K display, Intel Core i9 processor, and unrivaled Quadro RTX 5000 graphics. With these beastly specs, they can rival even the most powerful of desktop workstations — something we didn’t expect to happen so soon!
Best Desktop CPU — AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Computex 2019 gave birth to AMD’s third-generation Ryzen CPUs, and the crown jewel is the world’s first 7nm desktop chip, the Ryzen 9 3900X. With 12 cores and 24 threads to work with, the Ryzen 9 3900X is today’s ultimate consumer CPU. Even more impressive is its efficiency and value for money: It has a thermal design power of 105W and it’s priced at just US$ 499, which is less than half of its competitor’s asking price!
Best Lifestyle Product — WUDI IDI Arctic Neck Cooler
WUDI IDI’s Arctic Neck Cooler is the perfect accessory for strenuous physical activities like hiking, running, playing tennis, or even just sitting under hot weather. With strategically placed fans and a thermoelectric cooler placed on your nape, it dissipates heat upon contact with your skin to rapidly decrease your body temperature. It’s time to say goodbye to uncomfortable sweat!
Best Startup Product — SmartSound Skeeper
Skeeper is here to manage your daily health by listening to your heart. It’s a smart stethoscope that accurately captures your heartbeat using sound processing technology and provides monitoring and analysis through an app called Skeeper Heart. For pregnant moms, the Skeeper Mama app monitors their heart and baby’s health even while in the womb. With this lovely innovation, moms can now easily take care of themselves and their baby at the same time.
GadgetMatch Awards: Best of MWC 2019
The latest and greatest in mobile tech
Mobile World Congress has once again given us the best of the present and a glimpse of the future. It’s been an amazing show and we’ve never been this excited for what the mobile consumer world has in store for us.
To honor the best we’ve seen during the smartphone world’s most important show, we’re awarding the twelve best products that impressed us the most.
This year’s winners for GadgetMatch’s Best of MWC awards are:
Best in Show: Huawei Mate X
At MWC 2019, no product blew us away more than the Mate X. Just as foldable devices are forging a new category of their own, Huawei delivers what is surely the torchbearer. The Mate X is groundbreaking and revolutionary. More importantly, it was the foldable we actually got to touch and use. Whether or not foldable phones are the future, this marks the beginning of a new smartphone era, and we’ll always remember Huawei as the pioneer.
Best smartphone: Xiaomi Mi 9
Leave it to Xiaomi to create a smartphone that offers best in class smartphone experience at an affordable price point. The Mi 9 is the latest in Xiaomi’s excellent line of flagship smartphones, providing the best-possible features, from its chipset and cameras to the under-display fingerprint scanner and wireless charging capabilities. No smartphone currently comes close to its price-to-performance offering.
Best value for money smartphone: Nokia 4.2
Nokia is back with yet another budget-friendly smartphone that punches way above its weight. The Nokia 4.2 easily stands out as the best value for money smartphone of MWC 2019 with its sleek glass design and complete feature set from the inside out. Pick it up, or take it for a spin, and the experience defies its sub-$200 price point. We especially love its Pink Sand color!
Best innovation in smartphone photography: Nokia 9 PureView
The legendary PureView tech is back and it’s better than ever! The Nokia 9 PureView is redefining smartphone photography as we know it, combining five rear cameras, Zeiss lenses, a dedicated Light lux capacitor, a fully maxed out Snapdragon DSP, and computational photography for a completely different smartphone photography experience. The Nokia 9 PureView produces photos at an incredible 12.4 stops of dynamic range for realistic output similar to a professional camera’s. This is easily the best application of smartphone photography from the entire show.
Best smartphone display technology: Sony Xperia 1
Sony brings its expertise in the realm of high-quality displays to its latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia 1. If you’re looking for the most advanced display on a smartphone, its 6.5-inch 4K OLED panel, innovative 21:9 CinemaWide aspect ratio, and HDR capabilities make it the ultimate mobile device for watching movies and cinematic videos on the go.
Best consumer laptop: Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019)
2018’s best Windows laptop has just gotten better. The 2019 edition of the MateBook X Pro, Huawei’s latest flagship notebook, is now faster and more powerful, but still sleek and solidly built. New features like Huawei Share for quick and easy file transfers from your smartphone bring Huawei’s vision of seamless connectivity alive. Other mainstays include a pop-up web camera and a near-borderless display, solidifying the new MateBook X Pro as the best of its class at MWC 2019.
Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X390 Yoga
If you need a business laptop that’s built to impress, look no further than the ThinkPad X390. With decades of experience under its belt, Lenovo created this machine with the tireless worker in mind. Tough, powerful, and more secure than ever — the ThinkPad X390 Yoga is just as practical as it is attractive, making this a standout product at MWC 2019.
Best mobile accessory: Lenovo ThinkVision M14
No mobile accessory from MWC 2019 comes close to the usefulness of Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14. This sleek and portable USB-C monitor is not only easy to carry around but incredibly handy when used as a secondary display for your laptop, as well. It doesn’t even need to be charged or plugged into an outlet, giving us the peace of mind we always desire out of our gadgets.
Best enterprise innovation: Microsoft HoloLens 2
The original HoloLens was revolutionary for its time; now the HoloLens 2 is set to take mixed reality to the next level. It offers a wider field of vision and greater integration for enterprise applications — all in a package that’s far more affordable than its predecessor. We’ve only yet seen the beginning of a revolution. The possibilities for this MR headset are endless!
Best wearable concept: Nubia Alpha
Is it a foldable phone or is it a next-generation wearable? The Nubia Alpha caught everyone’s attention at MWC 2019 with its unique take on a smartwatch. The watch is both display that wraps around your hand and almost a smartphone with features. They’re calling it a new era of communication.
Most exciting 5G smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
5G smartphones are coming out left and right, but none spark more excitement than the Galaxy S10 5G. Not only does it own the next generation of mobile connectivity, but it’s also the most powerful smartphone Samsung has ever made. We love its curvy design, hole punch display, and its amazing cameras. If this is the standard for premium smartphones moving forward, we’re all in!
Powering the 5G revolution award: Qualcomm
Behind every innovative mobile device is a chipset that powers its features. When it comes to the 5G revolution, no other player has made as big an impact as Qualcomm. During MWC 2019, we saw Qualcomm inside the 5G devices of tomorrow, ushering in a new world of possibility that will fuel the next generation of mobility. Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon too was an ever-present figure of the entire event, and evangelist championing the 5G cause. This is only the beginning; 5G is here, and we can’t wait to see what happens next!
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