We're just hours away from the first TechRadar Phone Awards, where a host of winners will be crowned on July 17 at an exclusive event in London, and to get you ready for the glitz and glamour we've announced the shortlist for the six categories.

Tonight we'll be celebrating the best budget phone, best budget tablet, best app, best innovation and of course the two big prizes: the best tablet and the best phone of the past 12 months.

Our expert panel of judges deliberated extensively on all six categories, narrowing contenders down to a series of shortlists and then performing the tricky business of actually deciding the winners.

The good news is that - after much discussion, tears, laughter and hard graft - we have picked our winners and all will be revealed on July 17.

Best phone

It's the award they all want to win - the prestigious TechRadar Best Phone Award. This award highlights the pinnacle of smartphone achievement from design and innovation to performance and usability.

Over the past 12 months we've seen manufacturers push the boundaries of our smartphones once again, producing some stunning devices and any one in our shortlist is a worthy winner.

Best tablet

Tablets huh. Just a few years ago tablet computers were nothing more than an extravagant slice of seriously geeky tech, but now they fill every home, boardroom and backpack from here to Hong Kong and back.

There are some many to choose from in terms of prize, screen size, operating system, brand and build - but there are a few which rise above the rest as truly standout slates and it's these select few which are honoured here.

Best budget phone

While flagships handsets may be grabbing the headlines, there's an enormous amount happening at the opposite end of the scale with some truly outstanding smartphones available for under £200.

They are great for first time users, those migrating from feature to smartphone, parents looking for an affordable handset for their kids or those who want something cheap to take to a festival or on holiday.

Best budget tablet

Tablets are brilliant and we love them, but not everyone can afford the latest and greatest. Thankfully those on a tighter tablet budget are now spoilt for choice with high quality options available for under £200.

Whether it's a slate for the family, the kids, university or personal web browsing media consumption, a low cost tablet is just the ticket and they're taking the market by storm.

Best app

Applications, to give them their full title, have become engrained in our daily lives - they're so important in fact we're not sure we'd be able to function properly without them anymore.

With so many apps now available it was a real challenge winnowing down to our shortlist, and there's probably some favourites that haven't made the cut.

Best innovation

Best innovation is where we looked at the best the industry created, celebrating the achievements that make our phones, tablets and mobile life amazing.