Gadgets of the Year: 2015’s best smartphone, top tablet and more

6 Dec 2015

Inside an Apple store in Strasbourg. Is this where you can buy the best smartphone of 2015? Photo via Hadrian/Shutterstock

As 2015 draws to a close and the year’s biggest shopping season reaches its peak, we’ve been counting down the best gadget releases of the past 12 months.

What’s the best smartphone of 2015? Which tablet should be on your shopping list? These are some of the most common questions asked of a team that writes about the latest and greatest tech gadgets.

And so, this week, we have been revealing our favourite gadgets in various categories, celebrating those we found deserving of the honour: Gadget of the Year.

1. The best smartphone of 2015

Smartphones are now struggling to innovate in a saturated market, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement on what we’ve come to recognise as the standard technology in this space. The basics – battery power, apps, camera quality, memory and screen size – will always be more significant to users than flashy gimmicks and niche add-ons, and our top choice for 2015 is a smartphone that got these improvements just right.

2. The best home entertainment device of 2015

A number of streaming home entertainment devices were launched and updated this year, but which one made the biggest impact in people’s living rooms? While a number of established brands are trying their best to ‘smartify’ people’s homes with complicated gadgets, the best home entertainment device of 2015 was a straightforward choice, recognised for providing the most entertainment for the best price and with the most accessibility.

3. The best tablet of 2015

Once heralded as a PC replacement, the popularity of tablets has waned, yet the top range available in the market has improved dramatically each year, providing us with a series of extremely portable hardworking devices. But there can be only one winner and our top tablet of 2015 stands out head and shoulders above the rest, with our very own editor John Kennedy left smitten by the device.

4. Game-changing gadget of the year

With every product launch – no matter how iterative – the accompanying stage-show will throw out terms such as ‘game-changing’ and ‘revolutionary’ as if to render them meaningless. But a truly game-changing gadget has to contribute to a seismic shift or, at least, the beginnings of one – like what Google Cardboard achieved last year in bringing virtual reality to the masses. And so, 2015’s most revolutionary gadget is a humble piece of kit, but one boasting mega potential.

5. The best IoT device of 2015

Homes are getting smarter thanks to all manner of devices emerging in these early days of the internet of things (IoT). This year has seen some excellent additions to the nascent IoT consumer market (as well as some less than excellent ones, but that’s another story). Our top choice is a multifunctional jack of all trades and one of 2015’s biggest sellers in the IoT game.

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Apple store photo by Hadrian via Shutterstock