Stuff Gadget Awards 2020 (half 1)

The Stuff Awards have at all times gravitated in direction of the tip of the yr, as a result of why have them in the summertime when nothing has been introduced but?

It’s this sort of joined-up considering that provides us the authority to ship the official phrase on the most effective devices of 2020… with just a little assist from you.

As we’ve talked about above, we’re splitting our annual gadget love-in into a number of components this yr, as there have been simply so lots of the rattling issues to slot in. So come again on Monday for half two, in addition to the at all times much-anticipated readers’ gadget of the yr announcement. 

However for now, sit again, grap a scorching cup of one thing, and be a part of us as we have a good time the most effective in 2020 tech. 

TV of the yr: Philips 48OLED+935

TV of the year: Philips 48OLED+935

Supporting all the most important HDR requirements and obtainable in three helpful sizes, the OLED+935 is all about no matter works for you. The smallest 48in dimension is right for many who don’t have acres of house, however throughout the entire vary there’s little signal of compromise in efficiency.

That display serves up visible delicacies with Michelin-starred ranges of aplomb, and garnishes all the things with surprisingly good audio courtesy of the built-in Bowers & Wilkins soundbar. We consider it’s the best-sounding onboard audio system of any TV in the marketplace. Spectacular upscaling and the inclusion of Philips’ four-sided Ambilight sensible LED system make this a bathe and a glower.

Subsequent-gen avid gamers will bemoan the dearth of HDMI 2.1 compatibility, which suggests no variable refresh fee, however apart from that it’s powerful to seek out nits to choose with this gem of a telly.

Extremely counseled: Samsung 75Q950TS


  • Sony KD65A8
  • LG OLED 55CX
  • LG OLED 65GX

TV gadget of the yr: Roku Streambar

TV gadget of the year: Roku Streambar

Brains over brawn, they are saying – so whereas most soundbar makers (like Sennheiser, Sonos and Bang & Olufsen) have gone large and beefy to focus on showoffs with snooker-table-sized sensible TVs, Roku has caught up for these of us with comparatively tiny tellies packing puny built-in audio system and a scarcity of on-demand companies.

Its ingenious antidote is the Streambar, a sensibly proportioned and really succesful soundbar with built-in streaming abilities to help all the great things, like Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+.

What’s extra, it’ll ship content material in 4K HDR and double as a Bluetooth speaker for an absolute steal of a worth. Not everybody will want one, however the Streambar appears like a real facepalm second for many who didn’t consider it earlier than.


  • Chromecast with Google TV
  • Sonos Arc
  • B&O Beosound Stage
  • Amazon Fireplace TV Stick



We may sit right here and say Covid saved us indoors for many of 2020… and it’d be true, however streaming companies have been equally accountable for report ranges of delinquent dwelling.

Massive love goes to Bandcamp for its fee-free Fridays and for supporting music artists whereas lockdowns cancelled reside exhibits; however with an enormous provide of high-quality unique content material plus a dizzyingly large library of third-party collection and films, Netflix as soon as once more stood out because the one on-demand service that felt actually important.

Film highlights included David Fincher’s Mank and the Safdie Brothers’ unnerving Uncut Gems, whereas binge-worthy exhibits like The Queen’s Gambit, The Final Dance, Tiger King and the fourth season of The Crown saved us sane through the countless weeks of lockdown.


  • Bandcamp
  • Apple Music
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Spotify

Headphones of the yr: Sony WH-1000XM4

Headphones of the year: Sony WH-1000XM4

In fact, there wasn’t a lot we disliked about Sony’s WH-10000XM3s – however any minor quibbles have been addressed by their 2020 successors, leading to a near-flawless pair of noise-cancelling cans.

Sony saved the XM4s as great-sounding and comfy as earlier than, improved the already wonderful ANC and added new options like automated put on detection, the power to connect with a number of Bluetooth gadgets without delay and ‘Converse-to-Chat’, which pauses audio and permits ambient noise to cross via when it detects your voice.

Ought to you have got this perform enabled, it does imply an finish to singing alongside to your music… however we dare say that your loss is everybody sitting in shut proximity’s achieve. No offence.


  • Microsoft Floor Headphones 2
  • Philips Fidelio X3
  • Marshall Monitor II ANC
  • Bowers & Wilkins PX7

IN-EARS OF THE YEAR: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

IN-EARS OF THE YEAR: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Bose is aware of what it’s doing in terms of ridding your music of undesirable background racket, and its QuietComfort over-ear headphones are the gold normal in lively noise-cancelling.

However now it’s put its identify on a pair of wi-fi earbuds with ANC… and, effectively, they’re not messing about. The noise-killing is astoundingly spectacular for in-ears, and so they sound sensible too.

It’s a disgrace the charging case is positively hippo-sized – however we’ve examined sufficient true wi-fi buds to fill a socially distanced ball-pool this yr, and a chunky charger isn’t going to carry Bose again right here. Simply discover a greater pocket for it.


  • Huawei FreeBuds Professional
  • Sennheiser Momentum
  • True Wi-fi 2
  • Technics EAH-AZ70W
  • SoundMagic TWS50

SPEAKER OF THE YEAR: Marshall Emberton

SPEAKER OF THE YEAR: Marshall Emberton

If, in a second of insanity, Rick Moranis stole one in all Slash’s stage stacks and blasted it with a shrink ray, we’d be confronted with a moderately flimsy pitch for the Honey, I Shrunk… franchise. On the flip facet, Rick would have created one thing just like the Marshall Emberton.

The model’s smallest speaker by some margin, it’s dinky sufficient to know within the palm of your hand – however that is one movable beast that packs a severe sonic punch. Its energetic multidirectional audio is far more refined than you would possibly count on from a speaker of this dimension and worth. Bass is wealthy and rumbly, and you’ll crank up the amount with out worry of the sound getting crowded or pushed.

The Emberton’s additionally a pleasure to reside with, because of a stonking 20-hour battery life, waterproof construct and unflappable Bluetooth 5 connection.

Extremely counseled: JBL Flip 5 Eco


  • Final Ears Hyperboom
  • Klipsch The Fives
  • Small Clear Speaker



On the one hand, the spring lockdown introduced a dramatic surge in guitar gross sales. On the opposite, now that every one the neighbours are working from house it’s now not acceptable to blast out your Eddie Van Halen tributes via a 100W Marshall full stack from breakfast till teatime.

Put these two arms collectively, and what you’ll discover nestling snugly between them is that this, the last word software for silent widdling. In regards to the dimension of an extra-chunky smartphone, the Pocket GT is full of the identical digital results and amp fashions you’ll discover in Boss’s massively fashionable multi-FX stompboxes.

Plug your axe in at one finish, your headphones in on the different, pair your telephone over Bluetooth and jam together with YouTube movies. It’s what Eddie would have needed.


  • Roli Lumi
  • Senstroke
  • Audient Evo 4
  • Teenage Engineering PO-133 Avenue Fighter



The nice and cozy fuzzy feeling of nostalgia was robust with Nintendo and Lego this yr, so it’s no shock to see the pair dominating this class. Our eventual winner is the second coming of a robotics model that helped save Lego within the Nineteen Nineties.

Despite the fact that the time period ‘academic toy’ ought to strike worry into the center of each child, the brand new Mindstorms Robotic Inventor is a 5-in-1 equipment of coding creations that our keen six-year-old tester couldn’t put down.

High of the bots out of Lego’s fivesome was Charlie, a square-jawed tyke who trundles round on two wheels, however each Mindstorms creation is full of character to make this a really worthy winner – plus there’s loads of help for extending the kits in case your future engineers wish to go off script.


  • Mario Kart Stay: Dwelling Circuit
  • Lego Mario Lego
  • Tremendous Mario NES
  • Raspberry Pi 400



The Honda E has an HDMI enter that allows you to park up, plug in a console and play video games on the dashboard show. It’s removed from the automotive’s most necessary promoting level, however having the ability to bash out some Mario Kart at Cobham Companies summarises precisely what EVs must be: enjoyable.

From Mario Kart to go-kart, Honda’s rear-wheel-drive retro rascal has been constructed from the bottom up as an alternative of adapting an present platform. The ’70s-style sprint and brown seatbelts play superbly with a financial institution of 5 touchscreens, the transmission controls are simply the place you need them, and that is one EV the place having cameras as an alternative of wing mirrors really works.

Sure, we want it may go quicker, we want it had higher vary, and we want Honda would make a Kind R scorching model wanting much more like the unique idea… however Apple didn’t excellent the Watch first time.

Extremely counseled: Polestar 2


  • Porsche Taycan
  • Cowboy 3
  • VanMoof S3

Pill of the yr: Apple iPad Air (2020)

Tablet of the year: Apple iPad Air (2020)

The most recent iPad Air could also be pricier than the model it’s changed, however the ache in your pockets must be greater than soothed when you haul the factor out of its field.

Not solely has it been given a welcome exterior overhaul, getting the identical elegant flat edges because the iPad Professional and a raft of recent color finishes, however it’s additionally startlingly muscular in terms of uncooked energy. Our benchmarks confirmed it outstripping even the newest 12.9in iPad Professional in single-core efficiency, and coming shut in GPU efficiency. That’s significantly spectacular for a non-Professional slate, and – together with different enhancements over its predecessor, together with a much bigger display – solely strengthens our perception that the iPad Air is the pill with the best mass enchantment.

Nailing the candy spot between affordability and efficiency, this superbly refined 10.9in tab is comfortably the all-rounder of the yr.

Extremely counseled: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+


  • Apple iPad Professional
  • Apple iPad
  • Huawei MatePad Professional

Digicam of the yr: Fujifilm X-T4

Camera of the year: Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm’s flagship is a bona fide all-rounder – the Ian Botham of mirrorless cameras, if you’ll (minus the questionable politics and dependancy to blowing away grouse with a shotgun).

Its 15fps steady stills capturing capabilities make it very best for snapping topics on the transfer, together with grouse, and it’s no slouch in terms of video both: it’ll seize pristine Extremely HD footage at a slick 60fps, or 1080p at as much as 240fps for clean slow-motion playback.

As with most Fujis, its color science is a robust level, with the corporate’s famed movie simulation modes supplying you with a spread of filters for putting pictures straight out of the digital camera. Even with normal settings you possibly can depend on the X-T4 to serve up sharp, natural-looking pictures that want minimal tweaking later. Issue within the super-sturdy construct, in-body stabilisation and lengthy battery life, and this can be a cam for all seasons.

Extremely counseled: Fujifilm X-S10


  • Canon EOS R6
  • Sony A7C
  • Nikon D780



The second-gen version of DJI’s Mini drone is a dinky dream. Folding up sufficiently small to slide right into a coat pocket, it makes capturing beautiful aerial images and movies nearly easy.

With an enormous flight vary of as much as 10km, 31 minutes of flying time per cost, a strong stage of wind-resistance and probably the most intuitive controls we’ve used on a quadcopter, it’s a pleasure to pilot – and the 4K footage and 12MP images it produces are far past what you’d count on from such a tiny system.

The revamped controller could be the star of the present, although. A significant enchancment over the unique, it now gives a intelligent spring-loaded clasp to your smartphone and an enormous 5200mAh battery that can be utilized to prime up the Mini 2’s flight time on the transfer. Once you weigh all that up, it’s clear that DJI’s newest soars above the aerial imaging competitors.

Extremely counseled: GoPro Hero9 Black


  • Insta360 One R
  • DJI Mavic Air 2
  • DJI OM 4

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