Well with 2021 finally, yet slowly crawling across the finish line, it’s that time of year when we review tech of 2021 and our best picks and these are my picks that have made it for the list. I did consider doing the best and worst of tech for 2021 but honestly, I could be here for a while going through both so let’s just focus on the best that 2021 had brought us tech-wise shall we.
2021 has brought us many phones we have reviewed here at Ausdroid and whilst some have been great, others not so much. Granted there is not really a perfect device, each having their own quirks, twists and differences, there has been some that have turned our heads that’s for sure.
For my high end choice, I am going with the Pixel 6 Pro. Whilst I would normally say Samsung Galaxy S or Note devices, I feel Samsung has lost some of its edge and I hope its 2022 line up which generally does set the benchmark high for its high end devices does do a bit better.
Having played with a couple of Pixel 6 Pro devices I have to say, I feel the Pixel 6 and the 6 Pro is the Google device we have been waiting for. Yes the OG Pixel XL will always hold a special place in my tech heart, I feel the evolution that Google has done with Pixel software and hardware offer the device we have been waiting for. The new Material You UI has certainly piqued my interest and I hope that Google will only improve on it for 2022.
For my mid range, this was a slightly tough choice as the mid range has become the new battleground for OEM’s over the last few years with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy A range, OPPO, VIVO, HMD Global via the Nokia Brand and Motorola rounding out the various price ranges within the mid tier range.
My pick of the bunch is actually two devices from different brands. The first would be the Moto G30 from Motorola which I found was the near perfect mid-range device for a sub $500 price tag. My only issue pertained to the inclusion of the Macro lens on the rear camera. Whilst some may like it, personally, I would have preferred an additional zoom lens as macro can be a bit tricky to get the closest or near-perfect shot.
You can read my review on the Moto G30 here.
My other choice goes to the TCL 10L which offered similar specs for a sub price of $500. I found that both the TCL 10L and Moto G30 offered a relatively good experience and a price tag that won’t hit the purse strings so much. Though I do have two criticisms of the TCL 10L, given there haven’t been many if any all security updates in months but also again the inclusion of a Macro lens over an additional wide or zoom lens.
You can read my review on the TCL 10L here.
Laptops and Tablets
In terms of tablets or Laptops, I have to say there wasn’t much in the way of tablets other than the usual suspect being the Samsung Galaxy Tab range but I think a notable mention does have to go to the Nokia T20 Tablet, given this is HMD Global’s first foray into tablets and I think the price and the specs would make it a great contender for a kids based home tablet or for those that want a tablet to be able to do quick searches or watch streaming services on the go.
Laptop wise, I have to say that the ASUS ZenBook Duo UX482 dual screen windows based laptop for me is the winner as I wasn’t quite expecting the setup. Whilst the keyboard layout was a bit unusual, the addition of a second screen, albeit only 12.6-inch matte touch screen Tilting ScreenPad that complimented the 14-inch NanoEdge touch display (1920 x 1080) for me made it the perfect work from home device that can complement any home office or on the go.
You can read my review on the ASUS ZenBook Duo UX482 here.
This year I feel the explosion of wearable tech, mainly relating to True Wireless Stereo (TWS) and Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) earbuds and headphones have made this field very crowded with various options and price ranges available to all of us consumers.
So I again struggled to pick out one that truly stood out, with quite a few options available to pick from.
So for my first one, I am going with the OPPO Enco Free2 earbuds. I found these to be super portable, with great sound and battery life that won’t break the bank if you’re without compromising too much.
You can read my review of the OPPO Enco Free2 earbuds here.
My second TWS ANC earbuds are again from the OPPO Enco range which is the EncoX earbuds. These buds are the only product from the Enco range that offer Dynaudio sound and again come with pretty decent battery life and include wireless charging should you have a wireless charger on the go or at home.
You can read my review on the OPPO Enco X here.
Lastly, the last wireless Bluetooth earbuds as a special mention do go to the realme Buds Air Pro which offer close enough sound to the Enco Free2 earbuds and battery life that again won’t break the bank when it comes to purchasing the earbuds.
You can read my full review of the realme Buds Air Pro here.
Predictions for 2022
My predictions for 2022 are a bit mixed. I feel we will see more of the mid-range market devices shine and become even more crowded. I am waiting to see how the Samsung Galaxy Ultra or Ultra Pro that could be the new Note version of the Galaxy lineup will fair and to be honest, I hope they bring the best of the Galaxy S lineup with some of the note features with the S pen.
Also, feel there could be more chrome-based tablets or hybrid tablet laptops shining through for 2022. This would be ideal for me as I feel Android based tablets will soon become a thing of the past potentially with more and more people opting to continue to work from home and Android tablets not really providing the best option for that work/home lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong there will still be some possible Android tablets coming out and they would be more for those on the go that want something to sit down and maybe watch from YouTube or streaming services and video on the go but I feel Chrome OS is primed for the next wave of home/work device on the go.
I am also excited about Google potentially releasing a Wear OS smartwatch that based on the leaks, renders and ad photos showing off a Moto 360 inspired watch face certainly has piqued my interest and certainly looking forward to more Wear OS devices but more improvements to make Wear OS a true Apple Watch competitor. Maybe even further integration of Fitbit into Wear would be interesting to see.
Before I wrap things up here, I want to thank you our readers and supporters for all your comments (and yes we do read them and have heard some feedback both positive and negative) but generally for supporting us here during a very difficult year.
I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and that you and your family and friends have a safe and fantastic new year for 2022. Please stay safe and get your booster shots if you’re eligible as I feel this will be the only way we can enjoy more freedoms in the new year (not trying to be political, just going on the science and numbers here so please don’t shoot me).
So now over to you, what have been your favourite devices for 2021 and what are your predictions or things you’re looking forward to seeing and reading about here at Ausdroid?