(Pocket-lint) – Here are the best gadgets, cars and games of the last 12 months, as picked by the industry and public in the EE Pocket-lint Awards and unveiled during our virtual event (which you can watch above).
Whittled down from hundreds of products Pocket-lint reviewed this year, the final 20 winners are the best of the best in their categories. The judges have also chosen their favourite product of the year, while headline sponsor EE has chosen its Superfast Award winner too.
Best Camera – Sony α1
There aren’t many cameras on the planet capable of doing everything this one can. It’s a magnificent machine capable of 8K video recording through to intense 50-megapixel bursts at lightning speed, all without breaking a sweat.
Highly recommended: Canon EOS R5
The Canon EOS R5 is an absolute powerhouse, delivering top image quality, autofocus and in-body stabilisation performance.
Best car – Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 brings with it the excitement of a brand new car: it feels unique, it feels special, while pulling in the experience from Hyundai’s previous electric cars. The Ioniq 5 is an EV that’s going to be popular for some time.
Highly recommended: Fiat 500e
This little electric car is dripping in style, refreshing the classic 500 design to make it a little more exciting. The Fiat 500e is nippy, fun to drive, and has lots of small car advantages.
Best fitness tracker (in association with The Gear Loop) – Garmin Forerunner 55
Garmin took the Forerunner 45 and supercharged it with a stack of great features from its pricier stablemates. The end result is a much smarter running companion at a good price.
Highly recommended: Coros Pace 2
The Coros Pace 2 is a feature-rich sports watch that offers a great, reliable tracking experience for the price – particularly for runners.
Best flagship phone – Google Pixel 6 Pro
An outstanding camera system and plenty of power blend to make this flagship an enticing option. It’s a confident step forward for Google, offering a phone that’s more ambitious and more competitive against its rivals. Priced to appeal, you’re getting a lot of phone for the money, while getting the Pixel advantage of the best updates that Android OS offers.
Highly recommended: Apple iPhone 13 Pro
The iPhone 13 Pro is as a refined an Apple phone as you can buy. If you’re in the market for an upgrade from an older generation then it’ll feel genuinely impressive.
Best game – Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Spider-Man: Miles Morales showcases the PlayStation 5’s many talents in the best way possible. Haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, ray tracing and 60fps are all available, while the overall graphical fidelity is simply stunning. PS4 owners also get a great story and engaging lead character, so it’s a win all-round.
Highly recommended: Deathloop
Deathloop is a real gem of a game; a puzzle to figure out over time – but one that lets you approach its scenarios in myriad ways.
Best gaming / VR device – Sony PlayStation 5
As a games machine, the PS5 ticks every box. It has an excellent games lineup and some truly innovative additions. Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers on the included DualSense controller redefine gameplay, with 3D Audio and other whizzbang features firmly putting the next into next-gen.
Highly recommended: Xbox Series X
In the Xbox Series X, Microsoft has built the self-proclaimed “most powerful games console” on the planet.
Best gaming laptop – Razer Blade 14
This gaming laptop pulls off a minor miracle: fitting true high-end gaming hardware into a shell not much thicker than some ultra-portables. If you can afford the asking price, it’s an absolute stormer.
Highly recommended: Alienware X17 R1
The Alienware X17 R1 is a great gaming package. There’s plenty on offer here, including great specification and visual design.
Best headphones – Philips Fidelio L3
If you’re looking for a slice of top quality comfort with sophisticated audio quality then these headphones deliver one of the most outstanding over-ear experiences of any cans released in 2021.
Highly recommended: Bose QuietComfort 45
Great comfort, super sound, spectacular active noise-cancelling. The Bose QC 45 are ideal travel headphones.
Best in-ear headphones – Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony continues its impressive track record, with a generational replacement truly worth the upgrade. The WF-1000XM4 true wireless headphones have all the bells and whistles and then some, coupling great sound performance with class-leading active noise-cancelling and a much smaller form factor to before.
Highly recommended: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ in-ears are, without doubt, the best pair of true wireless ‘buds launched by the brand so far.
Best laptop – Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
The M1 MacBook Air really is a fresh experience and it’s a great laptop in many ways. Its screen is super, the design robust, and the keyboard actually works well. In the ultraportable market there’s little to compete.
Highly recommended: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has everything a great hybrid laptop needs: it’s light but well-made, has one of the best non-4K screens going, and Intel’s new Xe GPU is even fit for some challenging games.
Best music streaming service – Spotify
Spotify has several rivals in the music streaming space today, but few are as well-known and well-liked. It is simple to use, yet hosts a wealth of content, including a mighty podcast library that continues to grow.
Highly recommended: Apple Music
Apple Music is a relative newcomer to the streaming space but it has an enormous library which has added lossless and Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos tracks in recent times.
Best phone (£250 – £500) – Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is an excellent mid-range phone, packed with a great display, plenty of power, and waterproofing to help it stand out from the crowd. Running Samsung’s latest software, it’s an affordable way to get the latest experience with little major compromise.
Highly recommended: OnePlus Nord 2
Using the OnePlus Nord 2 as a daily device for a couple of weeks left us with the feeling that very little else is required for a great phone experience.
Best smart home device – Philips Hue
Philips Hue continues to innovate with its smart lighting system, adding new bulbs and concepts each year. It also redesigned the Hue smartphone app in the last 12 months, making it more simple and a true joy to use.
Highly recommended: Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 takes what was great about the original hard-wired device and further improves on it in almost every way.
Best smartwatch – Apple Watch Series 7
Apple’s wearable continues to improve year-on-year. The Series 7 introduces a larger and brighter screen, further showing off why it’s the best smartwatch on the market.
Highly recommended: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Whether you’re looking for an all-singing, all-dancing smartwatch or just a smart-looking fitness tracker, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series seemingly does it all.
Best soundbar – Sony HT-A7000
The Sony HT-A7000 is one big, bold all-in-one soundbar solution that delivers a wide and tall soundstage that will elevate any TV’s audio output to the next level. Its ability to handle Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based formats puts a big tick in the box, as does the twin HDMI 2.1 inputs with 4K120/8K60/HDR passthrough. Not many soundbars offer such a great feature set.
Highly recommended: Philips Fidelio B97
Detachable rear speakers ensure the Philips Fidelio B97 offers authentic cinematic surround sound. With wide wraparound audio and best-in-class bass performance, it’s an all-round success.
Best speaker – Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin
The iconic speaker returns with wireless playback support of all kinds, including streaming service compatibility over Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, aptX Adaptive, and even built-in Alexa voice control. Most importantly though, it provides an audiophile standard soundstage that one-box solutions can rarely match.
Highly recommended: Sonos Roam
For those already invested in Sonos, the Sonos Roam portable speaker is an absolute no-brainer addition to the family.
Best streaming device – Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
This stick offers one of the best ways to stream content: it’s easy to use, there’s access to loads of streaming services, and integration with Alexa’s Skills means it does a little more than some.
Highly recommended: Sky Q
Sky Q continues to be an amazing TV experience that redefines how you watch television, encouraging you to watch more content when, where and how you want.
Best tablet – Apple iPad mini (2021)
The 2021 iPad mini is a great update for the series, giving Apple’s smaller-scale slate the love and attention it’s long needed. The product is smaller and lighter than earlier versions, yet the screen is larger thanks to a reduction in bezel. It looks great.
Highly recommended: Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021)
The iPad Pro 12.9-inch continues the Pro’s transition to laptop – and is the closest replacement experience to date.
Best TV (in association with Disney+) – Philips OLED806
The 806 not only produces truly stunning OLED pictures, it also marks the first time Philips has fully engaged with the world of cutting-edge gaming. It also partners its spectacular pictures with some seriously potent sound.
Highly recommended: Samsung SN95A Neo QLED
The Samsung SN95A represents the company’s introduction to its Neo QLED technology, adding a Mini LED backlight to the already established Quantum Dot technology. The results are impressive, with superb HDR images as a result.
Best TV streaming service – Disney+
Disney+ came kicking and screaming into our lives in 2019 (2020 in the UK) but hit all new heights in the last 12 months. The addition of Star in Europe and a few other countries added a swarm of new content, including many major series and films for grown-ups. It is now, arguably, the most rounded TV streaming service around.
Highly recommended: Netflix
Perhaps the best thing about Netflix is that it doesn’t rest on its laurels, constantly embracing new technologies and spending big on great TV series and movies.
EE Superfast Award – Apple M1
Apple Silicon has marked a bold departure for Apple, with the M1 starting a new chapter in how its devices are powered. It ushers in a new era of productivity and portability, and is therefore a worthy winner of the EE Superfast Award for 2021.
Product of the year – Sony PlayStation 5
The mighty PlayStation 5 has been chosen as the EE Pocket-lint Awards 2021 overall product of the year and for good reason. Not only has it proven to be the fastest selling console of all time – even during a global chip shortage – it has been home of the finest array of exclusive games so far. Now you just have to try to get your hands on one.
Previous Pocket-lint Awards winners
The Pocket-lint Gadget Awards were first held 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…
2020 – Product of the year: Zoom
- Best camera 2020: Panasonic Lumix S5
- Best car 2020: Polestar 2
- Best fitness tracker 2020: Garmin Forerunner 945
- Best flagship phone 2020: Apple iPhone 12 Pro
- Best game 2020: The Last of Us Part II
- Best gaming laptop 2020: Acer Predator Triton 500
- Best gaming / VR device 2020: Nintendo Switch
- Best headphones 2020: Sony WH-1000XM4
- Best in-ear headphones 2020: Apple AirPods Pro
- Best laptop 2020: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (13.5-inch)
- Best phone (£250 – £500) 2020: Google Pixel 4a 5G
- Best smart home device 2020: Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
- Best smartwatch 2020: Apple Watch SE
- Best soundbar 2020: Sonos Arc
- Best speaker 2020: Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen
- Best streaming device 2020: Sky Q
- Best tablet / 2-in-1 2020: Apple iPad Pro
- Best TV 2020: Philips OLED 805
- EE Superfast tech award 2020: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765
2019 – Product of the year: Nissan Leaf e+
- Best camera 2019: Fujifilm X-T3
- Best car 2019: Nissan Leaf e+
- Best fitness tracker 2019: Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
- Best flagship phone 2019: Apple iPhone 11 Pro
- Best game 2019: Red Dead Redemption 2
- Best gaming laptop 2019: Alienware m15 R2
- Best gaming / VR device 2019: Nintendo Switch
- Best headphones 2019: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
- Best in-ear headphones 2019: Sony WF-1000XM3
- Best laptop 2019: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
- Best phone (under £500) 2019: Google Pixel 3a
- Best security camera 2019: Ring Video Doorbell 2
- Best smart home device 2019: Amazon Echo Show 5
- Best smartwatch 2019: Apple Watch Series 5
- Best soundbar 2019: Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar
- Best speaker 2019: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
- Best streaming device 2019: Sky Q
- Best tablet / 2-in-1 2019: Apple iPad Air
- Best TV 2019: Philips OLED+ 984
- EE Superfast tech award 2019: Qualcomm X50 5G Modem
2018 – Product of year: Huawei P20 Pro
- Best game 2018: God of War
- Best camera 2018: Sony A7R III
- Best soundbar 2018: Sonos Beam
- Best smartphone 2018: Huawei P20 Pro
- Best mid-range phone 2018: Honor Play
- Best tablet / 2-in-1 2018: Apple iPad
- Best laptop 2018: Dell XPS 13
- Best on-ear headphones 2018: Sony WH-1000XM3
- Best in-ear headphones 2018: Libratone Track+
- Best TV 2018: Philips OLED 803
- Best home entertainment device 2018: Sky Q
- Best streaming service 2018: BBC iPlayer
- Best smart home device 2018: Google Home
- Best speaker 2018: Sonos One
- Best gaming / VR device 2018: Sony PS4 Pro
- Best fitness device 2018: Fitbit Versa
- Best smartwatch 2018: Apple Watch Series 4
- Best car 2018: Jaguar i-Pace
- EE Superfast Award 2018 (joint winners): Apple A12 Bionic & Huawei Kirin 980
2017 – Product of the year: 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
2016 – Product of the year: 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
2015 – Product of the year: 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
2014 – Product of the year: 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
2013 – Product of the year: 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
2012 – Product of the year: 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
2011 – Product of the year: 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
2010 – Product of the year: 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
2009 – Product of the year: 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
2008 – Product of the year: 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
2007 – Product of the year: 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
2006 – Product of the year: 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
Writing by Rik Henderson. Editing by Britta O’Boyle. Originally published on .