VirtualReality

Best gadgets 2017: the top tech you can buy right now

HTC VIVE - Virtual Reality System
  • Vive is built from the ground up for room-scale VR, which allows you to physically move around objects in the virtual space.
  • Enjoy hundred of games for SteamVR, plus everything you love about Steam in VR.
  • An adjustable headset and multiple eye relief adjustments, including lens distance and IPD, make Vive comfortable and clear.

You may never have heard of choice paralysis, but you’ll definitely have been affected by it. It’s that sensation you experience when you know you want something, say an ice cream, but there are so many flavors to choose from that you end up not buying one at all, and going ice cream-less. That’s choice paralysis. And the tech world is full of it.

For every gadget and gizmo there are hundreds of different makes and models. Making a decision is hard. So, to cut through some of the confusion, we’ve collated our ‘best of the best’ gadgets list. 

This list only features one item in each category, and that item is what we currently think is the best of its kind. The products on this list will only change when something better comes along and knocks a reigning champ off its top spot.

If you’re the sort of person who wants to have the best of everything, this is your ultimate shopping list… 

Best phone

Samsung Galaxy S8

The best smartphone in the world – it’s a work of art

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Dazzling, bezel-less Infinity display

Great camera

Bixby is just bloatware

Irritating biometrics

TechRadar Phones Editor Gareth Beavis thinks the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the best phone on the market for a number of reasons, but primarily for its stunning display. Gareth says “it makes every other handset on the market look positively antiquated”.

The handset smashed all our benchmarking tests, and it boasts an excellent camera and strong battery, plus that screen is in a league of its own.

Make no mistake – this is a premium handset at a premium price. But according to Gareth: “Samsung has managed to find some impressive innovation at a time when there’s very little to be found in smartphones.”

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8

  • Want to see the best of the rest? Best phone 2017: the 10 top smartphones we’ve tested

Best laptop

Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is the best laptop money can buy

CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Faster than ever

Same long-lasting battery

Still poor webcam position

No Windows Hello

The Dell XPS 13 is ranked best laptop and best Ultrabook for good reason. Our Computing Editor Kevin Lee is particularly enamored with the “design marvel” that is the InfinityEdge display. 

The XPS 13 manages the impressive task of fitting a 13.3-inch screen into an 11-inch frame. 

It’s thin, light, and managed a battery life of more than seven hours when running our video test. A serious champion.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

  • Want to see the best of the rest? These are the best laptops of 2017

Best TV

Samsung Q9F QLED

These spectacularly bright TVs reveal the full majesty of the latest HDR content

Screen sizes available: 65-inch now, 75-inch (US) later in the year, 88-inch (Europe) later in the year | Tuner: Freeview HD | 4K: Yes | HDR: Yes (HDR10, HLG/HDR10+ via upcoming firmware update) | Panel technology: LCD with horizontal edge LED lighting, local dimming and Samsung’s new QLED Quantum Dot technology | Smart TV: Yes, Samsung’s Eden interface | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1450 x 829.3 x 24.9mm (W x H x D) | 3D: No | Inputs: Four HDMIs, three USBs, tuner input, Ethernet port, optical digital audio output, PCMCIA slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Unprecedented color levels

Ultra high brightness

Some HDR color banding

Occasional backlight clouding

High dynamic range is the technology of the moment in televisions, and Samsung knows a thing or two about how to make it really shine. The South Korean company was the first to release a TV capable of showing high dynamic range pictures in 2015, and it has continued to build on its strengths ever since.

With the Q9F, Samsung has created a thing of beauty. It’s the brightest TV on the market with unprecedented color levels, it has voice controls that actually work, excellent upscaling so that both HDR and SDR content look incredible, and it even works well with high ambient light in the room.

If you want the best television around right now, the Samsung Q9F QLED is the one to go for. 

Read the full review:

  • Want to see the best of the rest? The best TVs 2017: which TV should you buy?

Best games console

PS4 Pro

Sony’s souped-up PS4 Pro is amazing for 4K TV owners

Dimensions: 29.5 x 32.7 x 5.5 cm (W x L x H) | GPU: 4.20 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ based graphics engine | RAM: 8 GB of GDDR5, 1 GB DDR3 | Communication: USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0a, Ethernet, Optical Audio and PlayStation Camera ports, Dual-band 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0 | Max Resolution: 3840 × 2160 | Maximum controllers: 4 | Storage: 1TB

First 4K HDR Sony console

1TB hard drive

No 4K Blu-ray player

Pro Mode support isn’t universal

The battle between Sony’s PlayStation consoles and Microsoft’s Xbox series is hard-fought, but right now we think the PS4 Pro has the edge over the Xbox One S, thanks to a combination of good hardware, great games, and a generous online offering. 

An improvement on the already very strong PS4, the PS4 Pro supports 4K and HDR technologies; plus with advances in frame rate due to beefed-up processing speeds, gaming will look cleaner, crisper and smoother.

The only thing stopping the PS4 Pro from being the ultimate console is the omission of an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive. Instead you’ll have to rely on streaming to get your 4K media fix. 

Read the full review: PS4 Pro 

Best fitness tracker

Moov Now

Screen: No | Heart rate tracker: No | Waterproof: Yes | Activity tracking: Yes | GPS: Yes, through phone | Battery life: Six months | Compatibility: Android/iOS

Great battery life

Cheap price

Limited features

No screen

The Moov Now doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you would associate with a fitness tracker. It doesn’t have GPS tracking, it doesn’t even have a screen; but what it does have is a cheap price tag and six-month battery life. Yes, you read that right: six months.

During those six months you can track your steps, your sleep, your fitness, your running technique and a whole lot more. This may be an unconventional fitness tracker, but it’s a great one. 

Read the full review: Moov Now

  • Want to see the best of the rest? Best fitness tracker 2017: the top 10 activity bands on the planet

Best camera

Fujifilm X-T2

A stunning camera that’s perfect for enthusiast photographers

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: APS-C CMOS | Resolution: 24.3MP | Lens: Fuji X mount | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 8fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert

Polished handling

Fast autofocus

No touchscreen

Not much else

According to TechRadar’s Photography Editor Phil Hall, the X-T2 may look like its predecessor, the X-T1, but under the hood it’s a very different beast. 

Fuji’s 24.3MP X Trans III CMOS sensor is excellent, autofocus tracking of moving subjects is top-notch, and the levels of sophistication and customization on offer are impressive.

Plus, with a double-hinged rear display and plenty of body-mounted controls the X-T2 not only shoots beautiful images, but is a pleasure to use.

Read the full review: Fuji X-T2

Best tablet

New iPad (2017)

The best iPad, giving you plenty of power and maximum bang for your buck

Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A9 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB/128GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: approx 8,800mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Beautiful 9.7-inch screen

Cheaper than predecessor

Thicker than Air 2

No 256GB option

According to our Phones, Wearables and Tablets Writer James Peckham, the best tablet on the market right now is the new iPad (2017), with its sharp 9.7-inch display, beautiful design, and A9 chip – and all for a price that isn’t going to break the bank.

While the new iPad (2017) isn’t doing anything revolutionary, it’s a solid update on an already five-star device, and at a much more palatable price.

The new iPad starts off at 32GB of storage rather than Apple’s usual 16GB, and considering it’s cheaper than the entry-level iPad Air 2, that’s seriously good value for money.

Read the full review: New iPad (2017)

  • Want to see the best of the rest? Check out the best tablets you can buy in 2017

Best smartwatch

Apple Watch 2

Fitness takes over the Apple Watch

OS: watchOS 3 | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.53″ OLED | Processor: S2 dual-core | Band sizes: Varies drastically per watch size | Onboard storage: 8GB (only 2GB and 75MB allowed for music and photos, respectively) | Battery: 18 hours | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IPX7 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC

Water-resistant

GPS on-board

Expensive

Lack of useful apps

With significant upgrades to its battery, and the introduction of a GPS chip and waterproofing, the Apple Watch 2 is now the best smartwatch on the market. 

And, as it’s from Apple, it contains all of the slick, easy-to-use design you would expect from the brand. 

The operating system is more intuitive too, with WatchOS 3.2 bringing Siri integration for third-party apps, meaning you don’t have to fiddle with the smaller screen when trying to use those apps.

Read the full review: Apple Watch 2

  • Want to see the best of the rest? Best smartwatch: the top smartwatches you can buy in 2017

Best VR headset

HTC Vive

HTC Vive wins the first battle in the VR war

Screen resolution: 2160 x 1200 | Compatibility: Windows | Field of View: 110 degrees | Play-space: 13 x 13 feet | Controllers included?: Yes | Weight: 470g

Best overall VR experience

Software partnership with Valve

Requires a high-end GPU

The most expensive option

The HTC Vive is the best VR headset in the world right now. The controls are intuitive to use, the resolution is incredible, with a 1080p screen per eye, and the base stations mean you can play in a space that’s 13 x 13 feet in size – that’s some serious playing space to swing yourself around in. 

Like most of the entries on our list this is a premium product at a high price, but if you’re looking for the best first-generation VR headset around, then the HTC Vive is the one to go for. 

Read the full review: HTC Vive

  • Want to see the best of the rest? The best VR headset 2017: which headset offers the best bang for your buck?

Best headphones

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

The complete package… for a price

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: 4.6 feet | Frequency response: 16-22,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 28 ohms | Battery life: 25+ hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | NFC: Yes

Great sound

Good-looking

Exceptional battery life

That price

Choosing a ‘best pair of headphones’ is a tricky proposition, because everyone needs something slightly different from their listening devices. 

If you need a lightweight pair for the gym then you’re probably better off with a pair of wireless earbuds; or, if you do most of your listening at home and want the best-possible sound quality, then a pair of wired over-ears might be better. 

But if we had to pick the best headphones overall then we’d go for the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless. They’re wireless, which makes them more convenient for portable use, and they’re noise-cancelling for those who want to use them on a noisy commute. 

And, most importantly, they do all this without compromising on sound quality, which still lives up to the high standards that Sennheiser normally achieves. Oh, and they look pretty good as well. 

There are absolutely better-sounding, better-looking and better noise-cancelling headphones out there, but none of them do everything better than the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, which makes them the best overall pair of headphones around right now. 

That said, if you do want to get the absolute best, purest, sound quality, we recommend the fantastic Oppo PM-3‘s. 

Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 

  • Want to see the best of the rest? Best headphones 2017: the best headphones for any budget

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Shop for recommended virtual reality headsets on Amazon

HTC VIVE - Virtual Reality System
  • Vive is built from the ground up for room-scale VR, which allows you to physically move around objects in the virtual space.
  • Enjoy hundred of games for SteamVR, plus everything you love about Steam in VR.
  • An adjustable headset and multiple eye relief adjustments, including lens distance and IPD, make Vive comfortable and clear.
Sale
Samsung Gear VR - Virtual Reality Headset (US Version with Warranty)
  • Light weight so you can play and watch more comfortably
  • Easy to use touch pad
  • Wide field of view, precise head-tracking and low latency brings reality to the virtual. Be transported to amazing new worlds in games, video, and images. Thousands of 360 degree panoramic photos
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SARLAR 3D VR Glasses, virtual reality headset Movie Game For IOS, Android, Microsoft& PC phones Series within 4 - 6.5 Inch
  • Take Care of Your Eyes and Put Zero Pressure
  • Panoramic View and the Screen Is Magnified 5.2 times than Before,the Super Vision Will Give You Unlimited World, an Incredible Visual Fidelity and Immersive Feeling
  • No Adjustments Are Needed for the Middle Line of Double Screens
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Google Cardboard,Topmaxions 3D VR Virtual Reality DIY Glasses For 3D Movies and Games Compatible with Android & Apple Up to 6 Inch Easy Setup Machine
  • GOOGLE CARDBOARD is the primary experience version of 3D VR Glasses.It made from the AAA grade corrugated paper which is the strongest material.Our product is the highest quality for this price in the market.
  • HAVING ADVANCED GOOGLE CARDBOARD according to the advice from customers and tested it over 80 times.We add the longer head strap,suction cups and forehead pad.So far,we have sold more than 500,000 sets.
  • COMPATIBLE FOR all the 3.5"- 6.0" smartphones.Whether your phone system is Android system or other systems,you can use the TOPMAXION Cardboard to watch Left-right 3D movies on Video Player and play varieties of VR games.