Best tech products of 2018: The year’s most tech-cellent devices
2018 has been pretty stellar for new tech. We’re talking commercially available, could gift to your family and friends tech, rather than industry innovations – although you can check out our roundup of the latter here.
No, for this list we’ve selected the best tech products that 2018 has had to offer. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of smart products, from smartwatches to smart speakers. Without further ado, here’s our Year in Review: Consumer Edition…
The best tech products of 2018
Best smartphone 2018: OnePlus 6T
2018 saw the unveiling of the OnePlus 6T, the best smartphone yet from Chinese giant OnePlus. Crammed with state-of-the-art technology and retailing far lower than Apple-and-the-like competitors, we’ve long sung the praises of OnePlus smartphones. And the 6T is reliably, predictably brilliant. The only minor caveat is that it ill-advisedly shed its 3.5mm headphone jack. Other than that, it’s a swish-looking thing, complete with an OLED screen and powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset. Camera-wise, we’re talking a dual-array setup with a f/1.7 16-megapixel camera, supported by a secondary sensor for depth effects. But the real clincher is its £499 price tag. A sub-£500 smartphone which gives 2018’s other flagship offerings a run for their money? Sign us up.
Best smartwatch 2018: Fitbit Versa
Fitbit’s Versa went down well when first released in early 2018. With its curved-edge minimalist design, easy-to-use interface and general pared-down goodness, the Fitbit Versa quickly established itself as a worthy competitor to the Apple Watch. But its aesthetic simplicity belies a high functionality, with the Versa offering Bluetooth to connect wireless headphones, a music library and some pretty state-of-the-art health tracking. Our only gripe is that it doesn’t come equipped with GPS, which might make keen runners and cyclists think twice. But now for a mere £160 in the Christmas sales (£40 off its RRP), the Fitbit Versa is an excellent smartwatch offering from 2018.
Best 2-in-1 laptop 2018: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Microsoft unveiled its hotly awaited Surface Pro 6 in 2018, and we were heartily impressed. We were pleased to see Microsoft had not deviated too much from its well-trodden Surface Pro formula. If it ain’t broke, etc etc. Nonetheless, this year has seen some small but significant upgrades. The Surface Pro 6 comes equipped, for example, with Intel’s Whiskey Lake processor series, snubbing last year’s Kaby Lake processors. This permits it to support UHD displays and a far greater CPU cache than its predecessor, leading to a considerably better performance overall. It has also seen a power increase of 67%, while retaining its 13.5 hour battery life. Plus, to the delight of Surface Pro fans everywhere, it now comes in a black variant, giving it a pared-down chicness denied to its predecessors. At £899 for the 128GB model, it’s not cheap. But if you’re in the market for a fantastic 2-in-1 laptop – one of the best 2018 has to offer – the Surface Pro 6 is a safe bet.
VR is a relatively nascent industry, but 2018 saw it come along in veritable leaps and bounds, not least of all thanks to this offering from HTC Vive. The virtual reality giants unveiled the HTC Vive Pro headset, two years after they unleashed the original HTC Vive on an unassuming – and soon to be wowed – public, in 2016. The HTC Vive Pro has seen a subtle but significant upgrade from its predecessor; we dubbed it “undeniably” the best VR headset on the market in our full review. At £799, it’s not cheap. But for VR keenos, it’s an investment that’s well worth it.
Best smart home device 2018: Echo Dot
Amazon’s products are reliably top-notch, and the all-new Echo Dot is no exception. The Dot originally came out back in 2016, but this year has seen its third-generation model undergo some significant upgrades, not least of all to the audio quality. Plus, the pricing is as competitive as ever. While you may have missed out on the consumer frenzy of Black Friday, the Echo Dot is only £50, despite being a truly transformative home device. And how often can you say a £50 investment has truly changed your life?