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 products featured here don’t change.
But this is an exclusive club, and only tech that is capable of achieving a towering standard of excellence gets in.
1. BEST SMARTPHONE – SAMSUNG GALAXY S8
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
When undertaking an ears-on with this stunning piece of audio tech, T3’s own resident audiophile Duncan Bell said:
“This thing sounds superb. Cracking. As Jim Bowen would say, super, smashing, lovely, great. It [delivers] a rich, delicious, chocolatey sound with plenty of well controlled bass and even a reasonable stab at stereo, considering the small size. All in all, there’s very little to complain about with the Qb. Given how well its £895 big bro’ did it should absolutely fly off the shelves, and it deserves to.”
3. BEST TABLET – IPAD PRO 10.5
Apple has improved things in three key areas from the 9.7-inch iPad Pro this replaces – our previous king of tablets – the amount of space to work, the quality of the display, and the performance. The move to a 10.5-inch screen with a higher resolution of 2224 x 1668 adds around 20% more area, while keeping the same sharp pixel density (and barely any extra size to the chassis, thanks to the new design). Items on the screen generally stay the same size as they were on the 9.7-inch model, but you have more space to play with, and it allows for bonuses such as the on-screen keyboard (and attachable Smart Keyboard) being just about full-size, which does help for typing speed. The size difference is subtle overall, but it’s instantly obvious if you work in Split View a lot.
4. BEST HEADPHONES – BOWERS & WILKINS PX
The current big battlefield in audio tech is noise-cancelling, 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-cancelling Bluetooth cans from British speaker legend Bowers & Wilkins, is narrowly the best of the lot.
The sound quality, adjustable noise-cancelling 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
The OLEDE6’s incredibly slim ‘picture on glass’ design technique creates simply the most gorgeous TVs ever made. Each OLED pixel produces its own light and colour independent of its neighbours. Unprecedentedly deep black colours 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 colour noise. They’re not cheap, either. But none of that stops them being utterly brilliant.
6. BEST SMARTWATCH – APPLE WATCH SERIES 3
Building nicely on Series 2, Apple Watch Series 3 now features a cellular connection, allowing you to use the smart watch 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 coloured red (for Cellular models only). While there’s also a new Rose Gold colourway, 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 smart watch.
7. BEST TV SERVICE – SKY Q
T3’s own Dan Grabham, when reviewing Sky Q, said that:
“It’s futile to deny that Sky Q is brilliant. [It is] a seamless experience in an age where the connected home remains a bit of a hotchpotch. So, while it’s expensive and has quirks and missing features, Sky Q is a brilliant system that takes TV watching to another level. It also becomes very easy to use very quickly. If your main TV is in constant demand (and/or you want multiroom) and you’re happy to pay the extra to upgrade, Q is for you.”
8. BEST FITNESS WEARABLE – GARMIN FORERUNNER 935
The pinnacle of Garmin’s many years of building fitness wearables, this is way more than a running watch. Pair it with Garmin’s smart cardio strap and it’ll tell you everything from your average pace to cadence and running oscillation.
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 personalised Training Status and VO2 Max score.
9. BEST LAPTOP – HP SPECTRE 13
HP’s most luxurious laptop borrows the Lenovo Yoga 900S’s style and the MacBook’s bag-friendly dimensions. The Spectre 13 is so thin that tapping away on its tactile keyboard almost feels like your fingers are tap-dancing on the table. Its biggest advantage over the MacBook is its Intel Core-series processor inside, which lends it the winning combination of dazzling looks and computing muscle. Packing three USB-C ports for hooking up peripherals (note that you’ll need a converter to use your old USB-A ones), the Spectre 13 doesn’t just look like a laptop from the future – it has one eye trained on it too.
10. BEST CONNECTED HOME – SONOS ONE
When Amazon’s Echo came out, we said, “Nice voice-controlled AI assistant with music, news-reading, shopping and smart home features, Amazon… But the sound quality could be better, no?”
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, purchase is almost a no-brainer. No wonder Currys has it pegged as its predicted number one money-spinner this Christmas.
11. BEST CAMERA – NIKON D850
Simply put, if money is no object and you are looking for the best camera money can buy right now then you need to go and pickup Nikon’s mental-good D850 DSLR. It comes packing an outrageous 45.5MP full-frame sensor, 153-point AF system, 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, and 9fps burst shooting speed. As you would expect, the image quality is stunning, no matter if you are shooting wild landscapes or intimate portraits.
12. BEST AUTOMOTIVE – LAND ROVER DISCOVERY
We think Land Rover’s Discovery is the ultimate lifestyle accessory. It’s equally at home travelling in a convoy across the desert as it is dropping the kids off at school. Nothing can faze the Discovery, and that’s mostly down to the smart off-roading tech Land Rover has spent years developing. The updated model also features a raft of upgraded tech inside the cabin, with semi-autonomous driving, an intuitive infotainment system, and nifty features such as the ability to fold and unfold seats with a smartphone app. Simply put, one of the world’s most capable cars is now more luxurious, connected, and easier to live with. We think it looks great as well.
Here are some details/specs:
Price: from £43,495 | landrover.co.uk
Towing capacity: 3,500kg Wheelbase: 2,923mm Wading depth: 900mm Gearbox: 8-speed automatic transmission Features: Hill Descent Control, All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC), Terrain Response 2, 360° Parking Aid, Activity Key, Adaptive Cruise Control, Incontrol Touch Pro 10-inch Touchscreen