The best gadgets and Technology
Choice paralysis is something that you may or may not have heard of, but you’ll definitely have been affected by. It’s the thing that happens when you’re given so many options that you end up not being able to make a decision at all.
You want an ice cream? Yes. Do you want vanilla? Chocolate? Pistachio, hazelnut, strawberry, peach sorbet, rum raisin, mint choc chip, chunky monkey? Suddenly, the idea of an ice cream doesn’t seem so appealing.
Well, the tech world is rife with choice paralysis. For every phone, TV, or tablet there’s a mind-boggling amount of options, which can make the process of buying a new piece of tech far less enjoyable than it should be.
To help you overcome this problem we’ve collated a list of the best gadgets available right now. The industry leaders. The creme de la creme.
For each category there is only one entry and this will only be updated when a new challenger knocks the reigning champ off the top spot.
What that means is that sometimes the list doesn’t change for a long time. So quite a few of the items you’ll see below have been there for months, and have even endured major releases in their field.
If you’re the sort of person who just wants to know what the best is and you don’t care about the rest, welcome to your new shopping list.
TechRadar Senior Editor, Mobile and Buying Guides Matt Swider thinks the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is the best phone on the market for a number of reasons, but the write-home-to-mother feature has to be the low-light camera.
Samsung is making a big deal about the camera on the S9 range and for good reason, on the back of the S9 Plus are dual 12MP cameras, both with an impressive f/1.5 maximum aperture. At the time of writing the S9 range is the only phone with a camera aperture this wide, making its low-light prowess second-to-none.
Add on top of that the ‘infinity’ screen that the Samsung Galaxy range is now famous for, and this big-screened beauty comfortably takes the top spot. We thought the AR Emoji feature was overrated, but if you’re in the market for the best screen and best camera on a phone, this is the handset for you.
Gadgets Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
- Want to see the best of the rest?
- In the US, check out Best phone in the US for 2018: the 10 top smartphones we’ve tested
- In the UK, check out Best phone 2018: the 10 top smartphones we’ve tested
- In Australia, check out Best phones in Australia 2018: the 10 top smartphones we’ve tested
The Huawei MateBook X Pro is our new pick for the best laptop money can buy in 2018, after years of this list being dominated by the (still excellent) Dell XPS 13, which is now in second place. While Huawei hasn’t been making laptops for as long as more established manufacturers in this list, it has absolutely knocked it out the park with the MateBook X Pro.
This is a gorgeously-designed laptop with a stunning screen (albeit with a rather odd aspect ratio), and it comes packed with cutting edge components that allows it to perform brilliantly, and a battery life that runs rings around many of its rivals. It also has a very competitive price, giving you features, design and performance for quite a bit less money.
Gadgets Read the full review: Huawei MateBook X Pro
Fifty bucks might not sound like a whole lot, but you’d be surprised what you can get for such a small sum of money. We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 — so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $50. In this article, we’ve rounded up all the best tech under $50 for your perusal. Enjoy!
Hive View; $199.99
The new indoor camera from Hive, a UK-based smart home system, will turn heads for its style as well as its security capabilities. The sleek device comes in white and champagne or black and copper to more seamlessly blend with your decor, and works with Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. Our favorite feature? The head of the Hive View can pop off the base and hold an hour-long charge if you need to put it in a different room to monitor the kids.
Gadgets Hunter Advocate
Hunter Advocate; pricing available in March 2018
Add voice control to your ceiling fan by installing one by Hunter. Their line of connected fans expanded to five this year, with the announcement of the Hunter Advocate, coming this March. Each of the ceiling fans has a different style, color choices, and a light, making it easy to choose the right one for your home while adding the power to control the fan and light with a voice assistant or timer. Plus, we hear that installing one into your home isn’t too hard to DIY — their team says it can be completed in 15 minutes.
Gadgets SimpliSafe Security System
SimpliSafe third generation; kits start at $229
A smart tiny house with cozy cottage vibes? You would find us at the SimpliSafe Tiny House at CES even if it wasn’t smart. This little home hids its smarts in the most clever way. Instead of the minimalist backdrop you’d imagine for a smart home, it was full of cozy linens, wall art, and paneling that still worked with SimpliSafe’s third generation home security system, which includes security cameras, motion sensors, water leak sensors, glass breaking sensors, a keypad control, base station, and a slim remote for your keychain that can activate the system while you head to the car and includes a hidden panic button. After ten years in the home security game, their newest line brings design choices from IDEO that make everything, from the keypad and base to the various sensors, blend nicely together and in the home.
Ember Ceramic Mug
Ember Ceramic Mug; $79.95
Ever pick up your cup of coffee and discover that amidst your work, it’s gone cold? While it sounds like a silly problem to fix, the Ember Ceramic Mug does a beautiful job keeping coffee and tea warm at your preferred perfect temperature. It’s a little piece of daily life that is genuinely improved, and even comes in a travel mug version for keeping your drink warm during a commute. The only downside with both versions is the battery life isn’t long, but the travel mug’s battery allows for a steady warming for a single morning commute, and the desk mug has a charging saucer you can place it on throughout the day.
Belkin Wireless Charges
Belkin BOOSTUP Wireless Charging Stand; pricing available in spring/summer 2018
Wireless chargers has finally come to the latest iPhones, and Belkin has launched a new line of them to add to your home this coming summer. Their Boost Up Wireless Charging Standcomes in four colors, and the sleek lines make it a high improvement over a loose wire or charging base sitting on a desk or bedside table. You can also build it straight into a countertop or side table with their Boost Up Wireless Charging System. The system comes with options for top-mount, flush, or sub-surface, to add to any tabletop that you have in mind, and is possible to DIY onto a tabletop already in your home if you’re so inclined.
FoldiMate Smart Folding Machine
FoldiMate; pre-order for $980
Well folks, someone finally made it: a device that will fold clothes for you. The FoldiMateclaims it can fold a load of laundry in under four minutes. The device can fold any average-sized clothing items, but only folds kids’ sizes for ages five and up. The FoldiMate can’t take socks or undergarments either, or large items like sheets. You’ll need to individually place each item flat into the device to get it folded, and the bottom drawer will pop open when it’s full of folded clothes. So while it might not truly get you away from doing any folding at all, it’s a step in that direction.
Gadgets Google Screen
Lenovo Smart Display; $249.99 and available in summer 2018
The Google Assistant was everywhere at CES, with integrations in everything from Hunter’s smart ceiling to cars through Android Auto. The next big thing on the horizon, though, is the voice assistant’s jump into smart screens. With partners like Lenovo and Sony making smart displays that rival the Echo Show, the screen provides an experience similar to the Google Assistant app, and allows you to ask Google to show you videos, a map of your directions, and recipes as you cook.
Delta Voice Innovation Faucet gadgets
Delta Voice Innovation Faucet; pricing available sometime in 2018
You can control your lights, music, and so much more in the home these days through Amazon Alexa – and now you can add faucets to that list. Delta has launched a connected faucet that allows you to ask Alexa to do anything from dispensing certain amounts of water (imagine asking for Alexa to dispense two cups of water into a cooking pot instead of finding a measuring cup, measuring it out, and then pouring it into the pot), or heating up or cooling the water if you’re cooking or worried about tiny hands getting in the way. It adds a little ease to the kitchen, and avoids the annoyance of messy hands smudging the faucet handle. Plus, Delta is working on how folks with recent faucets from Delta can upgrade to voice innovation without needing to purchase a brand-new model.
NutriBullet Balance; $179
Smoothies sound healthy, but with a heavy hand they can creep up to thousands of calories. NutriBullet has launched a new connected blender that, using the internal sensor, can weigh and measure out a smoothie recipe to keep it healthy and delicious. The internal technology connects to an app to show you real-time nutritional details as you add each ingredient, from calories to protein and sugar. The app has recipes you can choose from, or you can concoct your own and use the app to track the nutritional details as you go.
Vivint Streety App gadgets
Vivint Streety App; available on iOS and Android in March 2018
Bring together smart home security and your neighborhood with Streety, a new app by the smart security savants at Vivint. Streety allows folks in your surrounding neighborhood within 300 yards (designed to target the neighbors you truly know) to share footage from their outdoor cameras. That way, if there are car burglaries at 3am, everyone can compare footage within the app, or if a pet goes missing, a neighbor can request to check the footage of your front yard’s vicinity in hopes that Fido passed that way. Our favorite utility, though, is for packages — if you ask a neighbor to grab a package for you while you’re out, you can give them access to see when it arrives and safely pick it up.
Gadgets Samsung’s “The Wall”
Samsung’s “The Wall” Modular TV; pricing to come
The modular TV has arrived, making it possible to create a TV to perfectly fit a living room space. Pricing and more details are still to come, but the bezel-free and customizable design of Samsung’s “The Wall” TV caught our eye for the possibilities it brings to the living room. Plus, it brings incredibly high resolution and uses micro LEDs to make the responsive screen possible. As the name hints, it’s made to hang straight onto the wall, whether it’s just to hang over the mantle or take over an entire wall. We’re curious to see what DIY’ing a wall-sized TV will look like.
Gadgets For the Garden Aficionado
Already have a yard bursting with a variety of plants, but feel like just turning on the sprinklers isn’t the best way to maintain it? We tested Rachio’s latest smart sprinkler controller, the Rachio 3, and our editor’s exact words were, “It changed my life.”
The Rachio 3 takes over your old sprinkler box, with very easy setup and connection to the different areas of your sprinkler system. Then, pair it with the app and your WiFi to start adding in the smarts. The Rachio allows you to set zones in your yard so you can manage the exact amount of watering those zones need, especially handy if you’re growing different things in different areas.
The biggest feature is that Rachio also tracks your local weather for rain, so it’ll skip watering when Mother Nature takes care of the job. That doesn’t just keep it from overwatering, but also helps lower water bills and water usage all around; this has added up to billions of gallons of water saved in the years that Rachio has been on the market. It’s a great fit for lowering your water bill, and getting better control over a diverse yard and its watering needs.