Iterative innovation was a big theme in tech this year—many of our favorite gadgets just got better. That’s certainly not a bad thing, because everything from the iPhone 14’s improved camera and security features to the really good noise cancellation of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II have greatly improved our everyday lives. We also dived headfirst into the world of virtual reality for the first time, with one headset being the clear winner, and spent countless hours of gaming hours picking out the best gaming monitors and controllers for playing like a pro.
After another year of rigorously testing all the latest tech gadgets to help you figure out what’s really worth buying, here are the big winners in each category.
Best Smartphone Overall
For most people, the iPhone 14 is the best new iPhone, especially if you have an iPhone 12 or older. Those willing to invest in a more significant upgrade should opt for the iPhone 14 Pro.
best android smartphone
If Android is more your thing, the Galaxy S22 (or the larger S22+) is the way to go. These phones offer beautiful displays, long battery life, great cameras, and some of the best performance we’ve ever gotten from a smartphone. Plus, the phones look great with glass and metal and are available in four attractive colours.
Best Budget Smartphone
If you’re looking to spend under $500, it doesn’t get much better than the Google Pixel 6a. This beautiful phone has the same fast Google Tensor processor as the more expensive Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, offers all-day battery life, and gives you a clean Android experience without annoying bloatware.
Best Overall Smartwatch
The Series 8 is a great upgrade for those still using the Series 4 Apple Watch or older, and a good choice for first-time smartwatch buyers. The Series 8 has a familiar feel with great performance, a beautiful design and many new features.
The best Android smartwatches
The Galaxy Watch 5 is the best Android smartwatch for most people, with long battery life, good performance, and tons of fitness tracking features.
The best true wireless earbuds for Apple users
The AirPods Pro 2 are the best option for Apple users, offering the best sound, control, and active noise cancellation in a pair of headphones. Existing AirPods Pro owners don’t need to rush to upgrade, but everyone else can have fun.
The best true wireless noise-canceling earbuds
The Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds 2 offer the best noise cancellation in-ear headphones can offer, along with great sound quality, so if you want to escape the world around you while traveling, at the office, or at home without resorting to large circumaural headphones, this is the way to go.
The Best Headphones for Running and Outdoor Workouts
The Shokz OpenRun Pro bone conduction headphones don’t sound as good as sealed earbuds like the Beats Fit Pro, but we like them for running and hiking because they let you hear your surroundings as clearly as if you weren’t wearing them at all.
The best wireless over-ear headphones overall
The Sony WH-1000XM5 improves on the XM4 with a smarter design and a refined noise-cancelling microphone—it’s the best over-ear Bluetooth headset you can buy right now. XM4 owners have little reason to upgrade, but for everyone else, the XM5 is a worthwhile high-end headphone.
The best over-ear wireless headphones for audiophiles
The latest update to Bowers & Wilkins’ Bluetooth flagship offers superior sound quality and a great build quality that should appeal to those looking for sound quality above all else in their wireless headphones.
The best budget over-ear wireless headphones
The 1More SonoFlow Wireless Over-Ear Headphones have better sound quality and noise-cancellation than the less expensive headphones we’ve tested. If you want all these features on a budget, look no further.
Best Laptop Overall
The MacBook Air M2 is the best Apple laptop for most people, perfect for everyday multitasking and capable of handling heavy gaming and video editing. It’s the fastest laptop you can buy for your money, and it’s an especially big upgrade if you’re using an Intel-powered Mac.
Best Windows Laptop
The best Windows laptop you can buy, the Dell XPS 13 offers a stunning display, great keyboard, and long battery life in an attractive, smart design that’s easy to take anywhere.
The iPad Pro M2 is the best tablet out there for serious creatives who want the power of a laptop and the flexibility of a touchscreen. It’s one of the most powerful machines we’ve tested, beating every tablet and some laptops we’ve tested.
Best Android Tablet
The Galaxy Tab S8+ impresses with a vibrant, crisp display that’s perfect for gaming and powerful enough for nearly anything from drawing to video calling. It works with other Samsung Galaxy products.
Best Budget Tablet
The latest Amazon Fire 7 tablet is an affordable option for kids or anyone who needs a compact device for reading and watching shows. It’s perfect if you need extra equipment at home, or while traveling in your car or on vacation.
Overall Best Indoor Home Security Camera
Arlo’s Essential indoor security camera is built with privacy in mind, is easy to set up and inexpensive, and comes with a monthly storage plan. Video quality is top-notch, motion alerts are timely, and audio sounds great.
The best indoor home security cameras on a budget
Ring’s indoor camera isn’t just cute and affordable — it’s an impressive performer, with crisp video and accurate motion alerts. The small footprint makes it fit anywhere, and it’s deeply integrated with Amazon’s Alexa platform and Ring’s home security products.
The best HomeKit indoor security cameras
Logitech Circle View features wide viewing angles, crystal-clear video, and solid built-in privacy features. It’s been around for a few years, but it’s still the best camera for Apple’s family.
Best Wired Outdoor Security Camera Overall
Ring’s Floodlight Cam Wired Plus gives you a complete outdoor security camera package. It has a bright floodlight, easy setup, solid video and audio quality, and motion alerts to keep you informed of what’s happening in your home.
The Best Wireless Outdoor Security Cameras
Arlo’s Essential Spotlight camera is battery-powered, records 1080p video, mounts almost anywhere in your home, and is one of the most affordable cameras we’ve tested.
The Best Outdoor Security Cameras That Don’t Need a Subscription
As the name suggests, Eufy’s Floodlight Camera 2 looks fantastic in 2K video recording, with bright floodlights, and best of all, it has internal storage and you don’t need to sign up for a subscription to view recent clips.
The Best Outdoor Security Cameras Compatible with HomeKit
Apple HomeKit fans don’t have many options when it comes to outdoor cameras, but the Eve Outdoor Cam offers full HomeKit Secure Video integration, effective lighting, solid video quality, and solid activity notifications.
The Best VR Headsets for PC Gamers
The Valve Index is a phenomenal audio/video package for a PC-based VR headset that benefits from its excellent “joint” controllers and a ton of great software on SteamVR. It certainly helps that the excellent Half-Life: Alyx is included for free.
The Best Budget VR Headsets for PC Gamers
PC gamers who are put off by the higher prices of the Valve Index and HTC Vive Pro 2 and want something more powerful than the Meta Quest 2 should try HP’s Reverb G2. Expect easier setup than other PC options, as well as an impressively high per-eye resolution.
The best VR headsets for PlayStation owners
The original PSVR is a good option for PS4 and PS5 owners looking to get into VR until PlayStation VR 2 arrives in 2023. From an impressive selection of first-party games to a handy Movie Mode for playing non-VR games and movies in a theater-like setting, there’s a lot to like about this headset.
The Most Versatile VR Headset
With a high resolution of 2448 x 2448 per eye and a very comfortable design, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is a worthy option for those with deep pockets. Unlike its PC-based rivals, the Vive Pro 2 offers add-ons like body tracking and wireless capabilities — if you’re willing to pay extra.
The best 1440p gaming monitors
For gamers who don’t have a superlative system — and many of us do — the 27-inch Alienware delivers solid performance, with a better combination of color accuracy and fast response times than any other monitor we’ve tested. it is good.
The best 4K gaming monitors
ASUS’s top-of-the-line 4K monitor has the best picture quality and extremely low input lag we’ve tested—it’s expensive, but it’s the best gaming monitor we’ve found, and for serious gamers who can invest get the one.
The best ultrawide gaming monitors
With an incredible picture and fast performance, this ultrawide OLED from Dell offers the fastest response time in our tests and should satisfy any gamer looking for an immersive experience.
The best 1080p gaming monitors
For gamers on a budget — especially fans of first-person shooters — this small monitor with excellent color accuracy, HDR support, and a fast 360Hz refresh rate really delivers.
Overall Best PC Controller
The excellent ergonomics, build quality, and near-universal compatibility of the Xbox Wireless Controller make it the best controller for any type of PC gaming.
The best PlayStation-style PC controllers
The DualShock 4 is still one of the most comfortable controllers you can buy (especially if you like the PlayStation-style layout), and its motion controls and touchpad can be used for PC gaming in some neat ways.
Best Budget PC Controllers
The PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller feels almost as good as a core Xbox controller for a fraction of the price, and includes useful programmable buttons that even pricier options don’t.
Best Advanced Wireless PC Controller
Featuring a solid, sturdy design, a host of replaceable components, and a host of software customization options, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is the best choice for competitive gamers or those willing to pay for maximum comfort and durability.