With 2022 quickly fading into the history books, after the last couple of crazy years with the pandemic somewhat behind us, 2022 started with a lot of promise and a lot certainly has happened in the last 12 months tech-wise with new devices and products that made us think “shut up and take my money” to “what the actual fudge?”
I have to say that one of my predictions from last years wrap up did come somewhat true:
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. I’m looking forward to not just 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.
Granted, the Fitbit integration is there, it’s not fully a FitBit device, kind of a hybrid between WearOS and FitBit.
So with this all in mind, it’s time to see what were my picks for the best of tech in 2022.
Well, 2022 has been a bit of an interesting year, with many companies bringing a varied range of smartphones to tempt us to part ways with our hard earned buckaroos.
So my high-end choice is split between three devices as both have and do tick the right boxes for me.
My first choice was the OPPO Find X5 Pro, which to me is the most high end device of 2022. The pictures taken were extremely sharp, clear, Color OS having some major improvements making it easier to use but also just the overall premium feeling and design the phone exuded.
I have to say that the Find X5 Pro does feel premium in its design but also in its experience. It just screamed premium high end device and certainly delivered on every level.
You can read the full review of the OPPO Find X5 Pro.
My second choice for the high end list is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and disclaimer I do actually have one as my everyday phone. Given I needed to upgrade my Galaxy Note 10+ as sadly the battery wasn’t holding enough charge throughout the day, and I have always mainly liked the Note line up, so to say when Samsung decided to delete this product line I was a little devastated to say the least.
For me the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the other high end device that has an amazing display, the functionality of a note device with an S Pen and performance that just allows the device to keep going and going without issue.
And to disclose I do have a Galaxy S22 Ultra and for me this has become my daily driver and I just find Samsung Galaxy S devices very capable and improved enhancements to OneUI have made the Galaxy S22 Ultra more useful and user friendly.
You can read Phil’s review of the Galaxy S22 Ultra here.
My last and third choice is the ASUS Zenfone 9, a compact high end device that breaks the mold of the usual bigger is better model.
The Zenfone 9 comes with a compact design and display, only being 5.9-inch display in such a very compact design. Yes the cameras were not that high end but you can still take some decent pics but the compact design plus the software certainly did make this device memorable.
You can read the full review here of the Zenfone 9.
There have been a few mid-tier smartphones that have come out in 2022, with many manufacturers now pivoting to this market then the high end market leading to quite a crowded market for consumers.
My pick is the Moto Edge 30 Fusion, which has to be my top pick for the Mid-tier device given it certainly packs a punch. Moto Edge 30 Fusion does offer a lot of similar features and in some ways a similar experience to the Moto Edge 30 Ultra which we also reviewed (and you can review it here).
I have to say Moto have certainly stepped up its game and hopefully, they will do the same when it comes to software updates going forward.
You can read the full review of the Moto Edge 30 Fusion here.
I also have to say that Jo’s review of the TCL 30SE as a mid-range device did seem to hit all the right marks and the performance without the huge price tag did pique my interest, and you can read that review here.
Budget Low-End Smartphones
Moto E32 for me is a great budget device given that not everyone can afford nor want a high end or even a mid range device, especially with the cost of living and price increases around the board, the Moto E32 does offer some basic but good specs at the end of the day.
Whilst it might not tick all boxes it does the fundamental boxes such as good battery life, cameras which are ok albeit a little basic, a bright, fantastic display, along with an included phone cover and 10W charger and USB-C cord, the Moto E32 does offer some good features and specs for the price for those that don’t need all the bells and whistles of a mid-range or high end phone.
You can read the full review of the Moto E32 right here.
Thanks in part to the pandemic, we have seen an explosion of ChromeOS tablets that have taken off and I hope this continues as I believe ChromeOS is far more functional as a tablet than say Android, due thanks in part for ChromeOS now being able to run Android apps.
This list, whilst very bare, there were a couple that stood out to me.
The first one was the HP X2 11 Chromebook tablet which, for me, ticks all the right boxes. From its premium design to having a 4G modem and SIM tray to enable connectivity on the go.
Granted the issue with the keyboard being a little flimsy and ChromeOS sometimes does have some small bugs but it has become my daily driver over my iPad Pro which I use more for entertainment nowadays. Furthermore the issue with pricing, being it retailed for close to $1000 I thought this was a bit steep but when on sale you can get a right bargain.
You can read the full review of the HP X2 11 Chromebook here.
My second choice is the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook is also another great Chromebook to consider using if you have a budget but still want a portable Chromebook tablet.
You can read Phil’s full review of the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook here.
Earbuds and headphones
2022 was certainly another bumper year for Bluetooth earbuds and headphones, thanks in part again to the pandemic over the past few 2 years but also thanks to a lot of device manufacturers removing the audio port from their new devices they launch.
This year there were a couple of earbuds and headphones that I reviewed, read and tried out and this is the best of the crop.
Soundcore Space A40 earbuds were my absolute favourite to use as they surprised me a lot and for the price I found them to be an absolute bargain and something very much worthy of consideration.
You can read the full review of the Soundcore Space A40 wireless earbuds here.
There is also the Soundcore Space Q45 wireless headphones which despite a couple of issues I found, I did feel the Soundcore Space Q45 wireless headphones did offer some compelling features and pricing which did make it a potential consideration for those who didn’t want to pay the high price tag of other headphones with similar features.
You can read the full review of the Soundcore Space Q45 wireless headphones here.
Lastly I have to say David’s review of the Pixel Buds Pro had me buying a couple for my family who want wireless earbuds but are a bit sceptical of wireless earbuds and the quality. Whilst yes I could get some cheap pairs of wireless earbuds, I wanted to get ones specifically built with Google and Android in mind.
You can read David’s full review here.
Finally these reviews are those that made the cut in other ways as my top picks.
The first is the Amazon Fire TV Cube and the Amazon Fire TV Pro remote which I found to be an amazing combination. My only issue is that I wish that Amazon would have included the Pro remote with the Fire TV Cube from the start instead of being a seperate product you have to buy.
The Fire TV Cube is great for those who want the best of having an Alexa enabled smart speaker built into the streaming device. Whilst yes you can activate Alexa via the remote, you would need to have your TV on to enable this whereas you can activate Alexa without the need to turn your TV on.
The Fire TV Pro remote I found to be great as the back of the keypads do light up, albeit except for the circular pad but I found the Pro remote to be far better than the standard remote you get with the Fire TV streaming devices.
David’s review of the ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 gaming laptop had me very interested given I am a little bit of a gamer and do need to look at upgrading my gaming computer which is seriously starting to show its age. For me having something a bit more portable is now my main need and given the build quality, performance and overall battery life are things that interested me in David’s review.
You can read the full review of the ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 here.
Before I wrap things up here, I want to thank you our readers and supporters for all your comments (Yes, we do read them and have heard your feedback), 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 2023.
So now over to you, what have been your favourite devices for 2022 and what are your predictions or things you’re looking forward to seeing and reading about here at Ausdroid?