Future knows the future, thanks to a planet-leading portfolio of innovative technology brands including TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, Android Central, T3, Laptop, and more. But Future also knows today -- both what’s bustling at CES 2022, the world’s most important technology showcase, and what’s hitting the store shelves and available to change your life today.
You’ll find a complete list of the hottest gear of the year in the Future Choice awards: From phones and laptops to cameras and smart displays, smart vacuums, and smart homes, the 50 products on the Future Choice award represent the best that 2021 had to offer.
Assembled by the editors of Future’s technology brands from the products each has tested and lauded over the last 12 months, the Future Choice awards are a celebration of the innovation powering the technology industry and helping transform our lives and the world around us. In combination with the Future 50 -- our pick of the most influential people in technology today -- they form the Future Tech Awards, a who’s who guide and a what’s what list of the industry today.
Here's a sampling of some of the winners; for the full list, see our dedicated Future Tech Awards site.
Best TV of 2021
8K might feel a bit like overkill to some, but there's no doubt in our mind that the Samsung QN900A Neo QLED 8K TV ushered in a new era of flatscreen television technology. Samsung's Mini LED-sporting QN900A Neo QLED 8K TV offers stunning picture quality, exceptional color and brightness, terrific sound and outstanding blacks – all in a package that's unmatched in terms of design.
For the uninitiated, Samsung's 'Quantum' Mini LEDs are 1/40th the thickness of a regular LED, meaning thousands of smaller LEDs can be packed together in a much tighter fashion, allowing for far more accurate dimming zones and black levels that are practically indistinguishable from an OLED.
As the LEDs are far smaller, they're able to achieve far more precision and less blooming, so the act of seeing bright areas of the screen unnaturally bleed over into darker spots should be greatly reduced or not evident at all. And because it takes advantage of Samsung's Multi-Intelligence AI upscaling, the QN900A is consistently able to produce images that looked better than their source. Put simply, it's the flagship 8K TV to beat.
The Apple Watch 7 is a flagship smartwatch that reveals the incredible power of modern computing -- all squeezed into a device the same size as that Seiko wristwatch you had in college.
Sure, It has essentially the same chipset as the Watch 6, and little in the way of new features, but what new stuff the Apple Watch 7 does have is incredibly useful, especially its larger screen, which is 20% bigger and yet only a tiny bit larger on your wrist, thanks to smaller bezels.
That extra size makes all the difference when interacting with the Apple Watch 7, and the wearable also charges faster than ever. With those things added to the still-excellent Apple Watch 6, the Apple Watch 7 becomes undeniably a great smartwatch.
Best Phone of 2021
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best smartphone in the world right now, the editors decided -- and they agree, it's a fantastic choice for you with one of the best cameras, phenomenal power, great battery life, a solid design and a whole host of other great features.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra isn't a cheap handset, and the price is high for this one, but if you're looking for the ultimate smartphone experience in 2022 you''ll be hard pressed to do better than this latest from Samsung. It features a top 6.8-inch screen with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and a Quad HD resolution. This is one of the best smartphone displays on the market.
Best smart lights of 2021
There's a very good reason why Philips Hue is the biggest name in the smart lighting scene: it's without a doubt one of the greatest offerings to the market. The lights produce the most natural tones of any smart lighting we've used, the app is easy to use, and installation is a doddle.
There's a wide range of different smart lighting too; from color (with 16 million shades) and white bulbs (both solid and ambient that offers a host of different hues) to side and ceiling lamps, outdoor lighting, and even Philips Hue lightstrips. We were also impressed the smart lights work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit.