Here we present the best gadgets available right now in 12 key categories, to save you the hard work of doing all the research yourself. In short, if you’re starting from scratch and want the very best there is, then this is your new shopping list.
This list will only be updated when something new emerges that is capable of toppling an existing product from its perch – there may, therefore, be months when the 12 gadgets featured here don’t change.
1. BEST SMARTPHONE – SAMSUNG GALAXY S8
A truly sublime smartphone
REASONS TO BUY: +Brilliant display+Blazing fast performance+Dual audio
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the best smartphone in the world right now, boasting the brilliant Infinity Edge display which occupies 84-percent of the body and cutting-edge guts. Yep, this futuristic smartphone is a looker, and instantly made its competitors look dated. It’s the next step in smartphone design.
The S8 is the complete package, as well as the amazing display and industry-leading specs, this handset also has decent battery life, an excellent camera and amazing performance. With all of that combined, you get not only the best-looking smartphone but one of the top performing smartphones in the universe. Yes, the universe!
We think the 5.8-inch S8 is perfect, but if you’re after an ever larger smartphone, Samsung also offers the Galaxy S8+, which features a massive 6.2-inch display.
2. BEST HOME AUDIO – NAIM MU-SO QB
Amazing audio quality and a stylish, compact design
REASONS TO BUY: +Looks stunning+Sounds even better+Lots of connectivity options
3. BEST TABLET – IPAD PRO 10.5
The best tablet in the world
REASONS TO BUY: +Superb screen+Powerful CPU+Can shoot 4K video
4. BEST HEADPHONES – BOWERS & WILKINS PX
The best Bluetooth headphones, with noise-cancelling to boot
REASONS TO BUY: +Ridiculously good noise cancelling+Top battery life+Great styling
The current big battlefield in audio tech is noise-canceling, over-ear headphones. The Bose QC35, Sony 1000X (both of which have updates hitting shelves now), the excellent Beats Studio 3… they’re all fine headphones.
However, PX, the first noise-canceling Bluetooth cans from British speaker legend Bowers & Wilkins, is narrowly the best of the lot.
The sound quality, adjustable noise-canceling and battery life (20+ hours) are excellent, as is the case with all the current wave of such headphones. However, B&W’s PX adds better styling, easier-to-use controls and some motion-sensing features (pull a cup away from your ear or take the headphones off, and the music pauses) that actually work. Brilliant.
5. BEST TV – LG OLED E6 SERIES
Combining stunning contrast with an ultra-thin design and exceptional sound
REASONS TO BUY: +Amazing black levels+Stunning thin design+HDR heaven
The OLEDE6’s incredibly slim ‘picture on glass’ design technique creates simply the most gorgeous TV ever made. Each OLED pixel produces its own light and color independent of its neighbors. Unprecedentedly deep black colors sit right alongside even the brightest HDR whites without a hint of light ‘bleed’ – something just not possible with current LCD technologies. The OLED E6 series delivers levels of contrast and light control just not possible with LCD.
This works wonders for high-contrast HDR sources, as well as making today’s standard dynamic range sources look better than on any other TV. The OLEDE6’s lose some detail in very bright HDR areas and occasionally suffer fleeting color noise. They’re not cheap, either. But none of that stops them being utterly brilliant.
A sound bar attached to the bottom of the screen, meanwhile, produces sound quality that wouldn’t be out of place on an external audio system.
6. BEST SMARTWATCH – APPLE WATCH SERIES 3
Cellular connection gives the Apple Watch a new found freedom
REASONS TO BUY: +Good smartwatch battery life+Clear, bright screen
Building nicely on Series 2, Apple Watch Series 3 now features a cellular connection, allowing you to use the smartwatch free from an iPhone or WiFi network. You can even make voice calls over cellular, again, without an iPhone present.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is exactly the same size as the original, but you’ll notice a minor redesign, in that the digital crown is now colored red (for Cellular models only). While there’s also a new Rose Gold colorway, as well as a host of new Apple Watch Bands (including a few beautiful Hermés ones).
Throw in the fact that it comes running watchOS 4, with a new updated UI and faces, and it is the obvious choice for those looking for a premium smartwatch.
7. BEST TV SERVICE – SKY Q
A seamless TV experience
REASONS TO BUY: +Slick UI+Multiroom+Loads of content
8. BEST FITNESS WEARABLE – GARMIN FORERUNNER 935
Built for triathletes, great for any fitness freak
REASONS TO BUY: +Delivers genuinely useful info+Fully waterproof+Endlessly versatile
However, it’s also 100% waterproof, and can also be used for pool and outdoor swimming and when linked to Garmin’s huge range of accessories, it becomes a wrist-mounted bike computer.
Best of all, it delivers genuinely useful metrics, with a training load calculator, a decent recovery time estimator and personalized Training Status and VO2 Max score.
9. BEST LAPTOP – HP SPECTRE 13
A Windows laptop with the sleekness of a MacBook
REASONS TO BUY: +Sleek and lightweight+Tactile keyboard+Loads of connections
10. BEST CONNECTED HOME – SONOS ONE
Like an Echo, but with way, way better sound
REASONS TO BUY: +Attractive price+Excellent audio playback+Good smart home hub
Sonos obviously read our review as it has incorporated Echo’s tech into its latest multi-room speaker. The result: an Echo but with way, way better sound. Sonos 1 would be a really good speaker even without the Alexa stuff. With it, for about £200, the purchase is almost a no-brainer. No wonder Currys has it pegged as its predicted number one money-spinner this Christmas.