Here are the best gadgets and games of the last 12 months, as picked by the industry and public in the EE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards.
Whittled down from hundreds of products Pocket-lint reviewed this year, the final 20 products are the best of the best in their categories.
Whether you’re looking for advice on a smartphone to buy or the number one laptop to get, this is the ultimate and definitive list of the best products launched in 2018.
So check out what you should be putting on your Christmas and Birthday lists in the months to come. And if you already own any of the chosen few, well done, you’ve picked a winner already.
We’ve made it easier for you to get your hands on these winners, by partnering with Amazon.
There is a nice new Amazon icon on the top right of the page that leads to you straight to the Amazon Pocket-lint store, in either the US or the UK – ideal for getting your hands on these winners.
God of War
To reinvent such a well-known game series was brave, but God of War proved to be both a modern masterpiece and a love letter to existing fans. It brought the combat system bang up to date while slapping on a dose of some of the best visuals we’ve seen in this generation – especially in 4K HDR on PS4 Pro.
Highly recommended: Super Mario Odyssey
Mario returned with a bang in, arguably, his best outing since Mario 64.
Sony A7R III
The Sony A7R III is the epitome of competence, whatever your genre of photography. Only the more demanding sports and wildlife photographers will need the A9, while landscape and studio photographers will struggle to find a better full-frame camera.
Highly recommended: Panasonic Lumix G9
The Panasonic Lumix G9 successfully places itself in among the DSLR elite. It’s a very impressive bit of kit indeed.
Rather than go down the giant soundbar route, the Sonos Beam shows off what can be achieved in a compact package. It is easily a must-have to not only boost your TV’s sound, but to make your living room smarter too.
Highly recommended: Sony HT-ST5000
The Dolby Atmos-supporting ST5000 is a big, bold and rather beautiful statement piece, which would make up a tidy and far-reaching addition to your front room.
Huawei P20 Pro
The Huawei P20 Pro looks great, lasts an age per charge, the camera is a top-ranking effort, and there’s all the performance you could need. Snap up this phone and you won’t regret it for one second.
Highly recommended: Samsung Galaxy S9+
We can’t hesitate to recommend the Samsung Galaxy S9+: it is many things to a great many people.
Best mid-range phone
With its massive screen, great overall performance, exceptional battery life, considered design and crazy-good asking price, the Honor Play doesn’t just put itself into a competitive spot, it wipes the floor with its competition.
Highly recommended: Nokia 7 Plus
This is one of the most affordable 2x zoom smartphones on the market and delivers a solid experience.
Best tablet / 2-in-1
It’s taken what was already an amazing tablet and added more technology for a cheaper price. That’s hard to argue in anyone’s book. If you’ve been holding off buying a new iPad for a while, and still aren’t interested in the Pro range, then this is as good as it gets from Apple.
Highly recommended: Microsoft Surface Go
This is a full PC you can install desktop apps on. And with this level of portability, that’s certainly not to be sniffed at.
Dell XPS 13
The Dell XPS 13 is a lot thinner than many of its peers, and has a neat fingerprint scanner built into the power button. Even the entry-level display spec is great, while every aspect of the laptop’s build is great quality.
Highly recommended: Apple MacBook Pro
As a brand new purchase for someone needing a new laptop, the MacBook Pro delivers on its professional grade promise in style.
Best on-ear headphones
Even without the noise-cancellation, these are great sounding cans. If you spend a lot of your time sitting on noisy trains or plane, or find yourself always turning up the volume to counteract background noise, then these over-ears are among the very best noise-cancelling headphones money can buy and worth every penny for that peace.
Highly recommended: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
With noise-cancelling technology that’s up there with the best, the Bose QC35 II easily earns its place among the long-haul flyers’ noise-cancelling cans to choose.
Best in-ear headphones
If you want exceptional in-ears for when you’re out running, the Libratone Track+ is a great shout. There’s excellent active noise-cancellation, a balanced fit that won’t budge whatever you’re doing without compromising comfort, and an adjustable sound profile that simply sounds great.
Highly recommended: Sony W1-1000X
Sony’s WI-1000X are, without doubt, among the best in-ears we’ve used in a while.
Philips 803 OLED
The Philips OLED 803 is a stunning set. Ambilight gives it a unique advantage, and it has another winner in Perfect Natural Reality, probably the best SDR-to-HDR image processor we’ve seen.
Highly recommended: LG OLED C8
The LG C8 builds on the success of last year’s B7 and C7 models, delivering an even better picture, better sound and better features.
Best home entertainment device
A perennial favourite. Where Sky Q really shines though is in the vast amount of content on offer, with a lot in Ultra HD. It truly is the yardstick in the TV business.
Highly recommended: Roku Streaming Stick+
We love the experience, we love the ease of use and the quality of the stream that we get from the Roku Streaming Stick+. You will too.
Best streaming service
The free BBC iPlayer has gone from strength to strength in 2018. The Ultra HD trials during the FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon Tennis Championship proved that 4K HDR TV broadcasting is now within reach. And the addition of box sets is the icing on the cake.
Highly recommended: Netflix
Netflix isn’t just another streaming service, it is now an essential part of many people’s entertainment habits.
Best smart home device
Google Home delivers a brilliant user experience, great sound from the Home and Home Max, and accessibility through the Home Mini, all of which offer great design. If you’re after a smarter home, Google Home is an excellent place to start.
Highly recommended: Amazon Echo
The rise of the smart speaker owes itself to the Echo, the original and, in many people’s view, the best.
For Sonos fans and music fans seeking a smart speaker that delivers excellent sound quality for its size, the One is unrivalled. This is a speaker designed for music lovers. Plus there’ll be Google Assistant and more in the future. The Sonos One doesn’t disappoint. It truly is the smart speaker that ticks all the boxes.
Highly recommended: Ruark MRx
The dynamism of the Ruark’s sound profile is great, bass isn’t overpowering, while volume is massive and the soundscape wonderfully wide.
Best gaming / VR device
Sony PS4 Pro
There is absolutely no doubt that the PlayStation 4 Pro is one of the best games consoles. Its graphical nous and general oomph make it a machine to consider even if you don’t have a 4K TV yet. What really wins it though is the mighty amount of games it now carries, many now presented in Ultra HD.
Highly recommended: Nintendo Switch
The Switch is a revolutionary console. It doesn’t fade in the face of PS4 or Xbox One, it strides down its own path.
Best fitness device
The Fitbit Versa might not be the smartest of the smartwatches but it is a smarter fitness tracker that is unparalleled for its low price. It provides great interaction with your smartphone, while offering a wide suite of health tracking functions. What more do you need in this category?
Highly recommended: Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
If you’re looking for an all-action sports watch that tracks everything you could possibly need, and willing to pay a bit more for it, there’s nothing better than the Fenix 5 Plus.
Apple Watch Series 4
If you’re still using the original Apple Watch then the S4 is a monumental leap forward. Even if you’re a Series 3 user, you’ll likely find yourself jealous of those who sport the newer device. As the smartwatch all-rounder, there’s nothing better than the Apple Watch Series 4.
Highly recommended: Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung’s premier smartwatch is as smart a watch as it is a sports watch, meaning chunky style and adept fitness tracking rolled into the one package.
The Jaguar i-Pace not techy for tech’s sake. Or elitist. Tesla, BMW, Audi et al should be very worried indeed, because Jaguar has pulled off the coup of the year with the i-Pace. Right now, this is the EV we would choose to buy before any other.
Highly recommended: Audi Q8
The Q8 is a worthy machine to supplant the Q7 at the top of Audi’s SUV list.
EE superfast tech award 2018
Joint winner: Apple A12 Bionic
The Apple A12 Bionic is the company’s best iPhone processor yet, offering up to 15 per cent faster performance and 50 per cent lower power usage in comparison with the A11 chip. That means the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR are Apple’s fastest, finest phones yet. All thanks to one small, super intelligent chip.
Joint winner: Huawei Kirin 980
Huawei’s Kirin 980 SoC is quite extraordinary – powering the Huawei Mate 20 series phones and ensuring that they are not only super quick, but artificially intelligent. The chipset is also the first to offer LTE Cat.21 support, which is capable of up to 1.4Gbps download speeds. And it can upload data at up to 200Mbps to boot.
Product of the year 2018
Huawei P20 Pro
As stated in its individual category above, the Huawei P20 Pro is the Pocket-lint readers’ and judges’ favourite smartphone of the year. It is also the product of the year, full stop. In many ways, this might come as a surprise, but it is an incredible device for its price and a real indication that Huawei is now mixing it with the big boys in this field. Superb.
Previous Pocket-lint Gadget Awards winners
The Pocket-lint Gadget Awards were first given in 2005. Over that time we’ve rewarded the best gadgets in the industry every year following similar criteria as today.
Over the years, the categories have changed and adapted to reflect the industry at the time, but the core aim has always been the same: to help showcase the best gadgets of the moment, the ones that have the ability to make a difference to our lives, or are just great fun to use.
Here then were the winners going all the way back to our first Awards in 2005…
Product of the year 2016: Nintendo Switch
- Best game 2017: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Best interchangeable lens camera 2017: Panasonic Lumix GH5
- Best compact camera 2017: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V
- Best smartphone 2017: Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8+
- Best mid-range phone 2017: Honor 9
- Best tablet / 2-in-1 2017: Apple iPad Pro 10.5
- Best laptop 2017: Microsoft Surface Laptop
- Best headphones 2017: Bowers & Wilkins PX
- Best in-ear headphones 2017: Sony WF-1000X
- Best TV 2017: LG OLED B7
- Best home entertainment device 2017: Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote
- Best streaming service 2017: Netflix
- Best smart home device 2017: Amazon Echo
- Best wireless speaker 2017: Sonos Playbase
- Best gaming / VR device 2017: Nintendo Switch
- Best fitness gadget 2017: Garmin Fenix 5
- Best smartwatch 2017: Apple Watch Series 3
- Best car 2017: Range Rover Velar
- EE superfast award 2017: Apple W1 chip
Product of the year 2016: Amazon Echo
- Best game 2016: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
- Best camera 2016: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
- Best home entertainment device or service 2016: Sky Q
- Best smart home device 2016: Amazon Echo
- Best smartwatch 2016: Apple Watch Series 2
- Best wireless speaker 2016: BeoPlay A1 from B&O Play
- Best headphones 2016: Sony MDR-1000X
- Best tablet 2016: Apple iPad Pro 9.7
- Best fitness tracker 2016: Fitbit Charge 2
- Best TV 2016: Sony ZD9
- Best laptop 2016: Apple MacBook (2016)
- Best VR device 2016: Sony PlayStation VR
- Best phone 2016: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
- Best car 2016: Tesla Model S
Product of the year 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
- Best tablet / 2-in-1 2015: Apple iPad mini 4
- Best laptop 2015: Dell XPS 13
- Best phone 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
- Best camera 2015: Leica Q
- Best game 2015: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Best home entertainment device 2015: Amazon Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD
- Best wearable 2015: Apple Watch
- Best speaker 2015: Naim mu-so
- Best headphones 2015: Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8
- Best TV 2015: LG 65EF950V 4K OLED
- Best smarthome device 2015: Philips Hue with Siri
- Best Connected Toy 2015: Sphero BB-8
Product of the year 2014: iPhone 6
- Best game 2014: Alien: Isolation
- Best system camera 2014: Panasonic Lumix GH4
- Best phone 2014: Apple iPhone 6
- Best tablet 2014: Apple iPad Air 2
- Best phablet 2014: Samsung Galaxy Note 4
- Best laptop / 2-in-1 2014: Apple MacBook Air 2014
- Best home entertainment device 2014: Sony PlayStation 4
- Best headphones 2014: Sony MDR-1A
- Best TV 2014: Sony KD-65X9005B 4K TV
- Best smarthome device 2014: Philips Hue
- Best speaker 2014: Cambridge Audio Go V2
- Best compact camera 2014: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
- Best wearable 2014: LG G Watch R
- Product of the year 2014: iPhone 6
Product of the year 2013: Apple iPad Air
- Best digital compact camera 2013: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II
- Best digital system camera 2013: Sony Alpha A7
- Best game 2013: Grand Theft Auto V
- Best home entertainment device 2013: Now TV
- Best wearable tech 2013: Pebble
- Best headphones 2013: Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear
- Best portable speakers 2013: Cambridge Audio Minx Go
- Best television 2013: Sony KD-65X9005A 65-inch 4K TV
- Best tablet 2013: Apple iPad Air
- Best mobile phone 2013: HTC One
- Best phablets 2013: Samsung Galaxy Note 3
- Best laptop 2013: MacBook Air 13-inch
Product of the year 2012: Windows 8
- Best digital camera 2012: Nikon D800
- Best laptop 2012: Apple MacBook Air 13-inch
- Best app 2012: Google Chrome
- Best game 2012: Journey
- Best home entertainment device 2012: Sky TV
- Best portable audio 2012: iPod Touch 5th generation
- Best TV 2012: Panasonic Viera TX-P50VT50B and the Sony Bravia KDL-46HX853
- Best tablet 2012: Nexus 7
- Best mobile phone 2012: Samsung Galaxy S III
- Innovation of the year 2012: Nike+ Fuelband
Product of the year 2011: Apple iPad 2
- Best digital camera 2011: Sony NEX-5N
- Best laptop 2011: Apple MacBook Air 13-inch
- Best app 2011: Sky Go
- Best game 2011: Batman: Arkham City
- Best home entertainment device 2011: Sonos Play:3
- Best TV 2011: Samsung UE55D8000
- Best tablet 2011: Apple iPad 2
- Best phone 2011: Samsung Galaxy S II
- Innovation of the year 2011: OnLive
Product of the year 2010: Kindle Wi-Fi
- Best audio 2010: Apple iPod touch 4G
- Best app 2010: Amazon Kindle app
- Best game 2010: Angry Birds
- Best TV 2010: Philips 21:9 Cinema 3D
- Best home cinema kit 2010: Xbox 360 S
- Best phone 2010: HTC Desire HD
- Best camera 2010: Canon EOS 550D
- Best computer 2010: Apple iPad
- Innovation of the year 2010: Microsoft Kinect
Product of the year 2009: Spotify
- Best music gadget 2009: Apple iPod touch (3rd gen)
- Best car gadget 2009: TomTom XL Live
- Best digital camera 2009: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
- Best laptop 2009: Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
- Best software 2009: Spotify
- Best game 2009: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Best home cinema gadget 2009: PS3 Slim
- Best mobile phone 2009: HTC Hero
- Best gadget 2009: Eye-Fi
Product Of The year 2008: MSI Wind
- Best music gadget 2008: Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin iPod speakers
- Best car gadget 2008: TomTom One
- Best digital camera 2008: Fujifilm F60fd
- Best laptop 2008: MSI Wind
- Best software/service 2008: Firefox 3
- Best game 2008: LittleBigPlanet
- Best home cinema device 2008: Pioneer KURO PDP-LX5090 television
- Best mobile phone 2008: BlackBerry Storm
- Best email device 2008: Nokia E71
- Best Eco gadget 2008: Pure Evoke Flow
- Innovation of the year 2008: Asus, for the Eee PC
Product of the year 2007: Nintendo Wii
- Best MP3/portable media player 2007: Archos 605 Wi-Fi
- Best headphones 2007: Sennheiser PXC450
- Best DAB radio 2007: Pure Evoke-1S
- Best iPod speaker system 2007: Logic3 i-Station Traveller speakers
- Best mobile phone 2007: Nokia N95 8GB
- Best smartphone 2007: Apple iPhone
- Best mobile phone accessory 2007: Jawbone Bluetooth headset
- Best satnav 2007: Navman S90i
- Best car gadget 2007: Griffin itrip auto
- Best compact digital camera 2007: Fuji FinePix Z5fd digital camera
- Best DLSR digital camera 2007: Canon EOS 40D DSLR digital camera
- Best printer 2007: Kodak EasyShare 5300 All In One Printer
- Best laptop 2007: Sony VAIO VGN-TZ11XN
- Best PC peripheral 2007: Sandisk USB SD Card
- Best VoIP accessory 2007: Philips VOIP841
- Best software 2007: iLife 08
- Best website 2007: Facebook
- Best TV 2007: Pioneer Kuro
- Best home cinema accessory 2007: Apple TV
- Best console game 2007: Gears of War
- Best PC game 2007: Bioshock
- Best games console 2007: Nintendo Wii
- Best sports and fitness Gadget 2007: Timex iControl
- Best green gadget 2007: USBcell
Product of the year 2006: BlackBerry Pearl
- Best MP3/portable media player 2006: Creative Zen Vision:M
- Best mobile phone 2006: Sony Ericsson k800i
- Best mobile phone or MP3 accessory 2006: Bose QuietComfort 3 noise cancelling headphones
- Best GPS unit 2006: TomTom One
- Best compact digital camera 2006: Fujifim Finepix F30
- Best prosumer digital camera 2006: Nikon D80
- Best imaging accessory 2006: HP Photosmart A618 printer
- Best laptop 2006: Apple MacBook Pro
- Best PC peripheral 2006: Logitech MX Revolution mouse
- Best home entertainment device 2006: Sky HD
- Best PC or console game 2006: New Super Mario Brothers (Nintendo DS)
- Best software 2006: Apple iLife ’06
- Best website 2006: YouTube
- Best gadget 2006: Nintendo DS Lite
- Best MP3 player 2005: Apple iPod nano
- Best portable media player 2005: Sony PSP console
- Best mobile phone 2005: Samsung SGH-D600
- Best prosumer digital camera 2005: Nikon D50
- Best compact digital camera 2005: Pentax Optio 50
- Best PC or console game 2005: Lumines (PSP)
- Best laptop 2005: Apple 15-inch PowerBook
- Best home entertainment gadget 2005: Sonos Digital Music System
- Best PDA/smartphone 2005: Palm Treo 650
- Best GPS unit 2005: TomTom Go 700
- Best lifestyle gadget 2005: Sony PSP console
- Innovation of the year 2005: Dyson Ball
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