The best products we tested in January: Smart locks, standing desks, and more

CNN Underscored is constantly testing products — whether it’s earbuds, electric shavers or smart scales — to find the absolute best in each category. Our testing process is rigorous, beginning with hours of research to find the top products in each category. Once we created a pool of product tests, we tested and retested each product multiple times in real environments over the course of weeks or even months.

This year, we’ve tested dozens of products—from smart locks to standing desks to office chairs—to find the best ones you need to make your life better. Here are January’s winning products.

The game offers some of the best gameplay in the series so far

The minute-by-minute gameplay in Fire Emblem Engage is by far the best in the Fire Emblem series. So if you’re an old-school Fire Emblem fan – and care about good tactical RPG action – then we think Engage is worth checking out.

A game with lovable characters and fun abilities

Forspoken is an action RPG starring a young heroine, Frey Holland, who is stranded in the land of Athia and must use her newfound magical abilities to find her way home. We love the game’s likable characters, interesting powers and abilities, and interesting story.

Best Smart Lock Overall

The Yale Assure Lock 2 is a full-featured replacement smart lock with a sleek, modular design that lets you buy and upgrade as you go. We found it easy to use and share access to our test home, and it integrates easily with smart HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home.

best value smart lock

Detailed instructions make the affordable Wyze Lock Bolt easy to install. Whether you just want to break into your home or share a combination with guests, it’s easy to use, and we think it looks better than other budget locks we’ve tested.

Best Scanner App for Mobile Devices Overall

During our testing, we found Genius Scan Ultra to be the fastest scanner app and the best at performing text recognition on documents. When saving scanned items, we like the app’s ability to accurately suggest tags based on location, calendar events, and document content.

Best Video Editing App Overall

Filmora Video Editor & Maker is a feature-rich video editing app with the largest and most diverse content library of any mobile app we tested. What’s more, we found that we could do more with the two test videos we created with Filmora than with any other app we tested.

Overall Best Office Chair

The Steelcase Series 1 stood out during testing as one of the most customizable, highest-quality, and most comfortable office chairs on the market, outperforming chairs that cost twice as much—making it the best value-for-money office chair.

A sleek, minimalist chair that fits nearly any office space

The Verve chair is Branch’s most stylish office chair. During testing, we found it to be comfortable and supportive, and its streamlined look and simplified adjustments make it ideal for home office spaces. Adjustment of the armrests is limited, and it won’t suit tall people, but if it fits your size, it’s a solid piece of furniture.

Best Standing Desk Overall

The Branch Adjustable Standing Desk is a near-perfect desk that can handle multiple monitors, dual laptops, and plenty of knick-knacks. It’s also very solid, one of the best builds we’ve come across during testing.

A Luxury Solid Wood Standing Desk Worth the Splurge

While most of the standing desks we tested use a medium-density fiberboard (MDF) top, the Ergonofis Sway’s solid wood surface gave it a more stable feel than any other ergonomic desk we tested And a more luxurious, refined furniture look.

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