Results of 2019: gadgets thanks to which we will remember the passing year

On the last day of the outgoing year, the editorsggpublishes traditional results, listing the gadgets that

I remember this year.This is a kind of page in the chronicle, in which the most interesting devices will remain, making an impression with their capabilities and/or design. This is how we remember the past 2019. And thank you all for being with us all this year. See you in the new year, 2020.

Trends and Main Events of 2019

In addition to specific devices that we remember, the outgoing 2019 will be remembered for several characteristic things and events that determined the development of the industry in the outgoing and subsequent years.

  • disappearance on the display of holes for the front camera- tendency to increase usable areasmartphone screens, which we have observed for the last two years (it all started with the unibrow of the iPhone X) has reached its logical conclusion: the front cameras are hidden in a separate module that extends out of the smartphone when activated in the interface. The first was the Vivo Apex, which was first shown back in March 2018. By the end of 2019, there are several such models on sale: Huawei P Smart Z, Xiaomi Mi 9T, OPPO Reno 2, and this is not a complete list. The most interesting with this design was Vivo NEX 3, about which a little later.
  • the first smartphones with a flexible screen- this is generally a real breakthrough in technology,which will take the industry to a new level. Although the prices (in full accordance with our forecast) are high and only the Samsung Galaxy Fold can be purchased (and only by pre-order - you cannot come to the store and pick it up right away), other manufacturers have also announced their similar models: Huawei Mate X, Motorola RAZR and Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha.
  • the beginning of the 5G era— launched commercially this yearoperation of the first 5G networks on the planet. It all started in South Korea, where LG and Samsung presented such smartphones. Other manufacturers also offered their models (Huawei showed at IFA a progressive version of the Kirin 990 processor with integrated 5G support
  • further growth in contactless payments and application integration with Apple Pay and Google Pay— contactless payments in our country turned out to beso popular that they have influenced the technical characteristics of mid-range and even entry-level smartphones: without NFC support, they are not popular, and manufacturers are forced to supply versions with NFC to our market. This had a good impact on the development of any payment applications (retail chains, gas station networks), which began to support Apple Pay and Google Pay, which makes it easy and safe to add payment cards to these applications, significantly improving the user experience.
  • first roll-up tv— natural evolution of folding screensled to the announcement of the world's first roll-up TV. It was the LG OLED65R9, presented at CES 2019. And although there are still no commercial sales, a start has already been made, the process has begun, all that remains is to wait for the development of events - the appearance of the first sales and a gradual reduction in prices.
  • explosive growth of TWS headphones— how the iPad launched an entire market segmenttablets, and the emergence of AirPods opened a new era in the development of headphones. In 2019, not only A-brands, but also B-brands and even C-brands began to produce TWS headphones (by the way, True Wireless Stereo is a registered trademark of Qualcomm, a company that produces ARM processors). As a result, we got a new fast-growing and promising market segment, with prices ranging from 20 to 200 dollars (and even higher if we take advanced A-brand models with noise cancellation). And this is just the beginning.
  • growth of the robot vacuum cleaner market in Ukraine- another segment of electronics that was inin its infancy, made a leap. Xiaomi acted as the locomotive (with serious marketing support from the Allo store chain, which is opening Mi Store brand stores). Trust in the brand, developed over several years, has done its job - Ukrainians began to buy these devices that can make life more comfortable, reducing the time that needs to be spent on not the most pleasant duties
  • smoking gadgets have become a mass phenomenon- modern technologies change habitsconsumers, including those that cause condemnation in society, for example, smoking. The billions of dollars spent by the tobacco companies have done their job to buy devices that offer a “safer, but still unhealthy” smoking experience, which they themselves present as a non-smoking process (from a consumer point of view, it is still smoking, and it doesn’t matter that there is no open fire and associated emissions of harmful substances) you can do it everywhere. Although airlines have naturally already banned the use of such devices in the cabin, the emergence of restaurants and cafes that are “friendly” and loyal to such habits is influencing the popularity of these electronic devices (at least among residents of large cities, where, in fact, most of the airlines live). population of the country).

Gadget of the Year 2019

Traditionally, our list of the best devices of the yearconsists of three parts: gadgets of the year - devices that impressed us thanks to their technological capabilities. The second award is Design of the Year, which recognizes devices whose designs create impact and/or create new entities and use cases, and move the industry forward. The results of the year are rounded off with our unique anti-award, the Iron Arctic Fox - the strangest devices of the outgoing year, which unpleasantly surprised us.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Every year for the past ten years, Samsung's flagship smartphone has consistently received the editor's"gadget of the year"But in 2019, Samsung has a smartphone that surpasses the capabilities of the current flagships - Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10. This is the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which opens a new page of technology - smartphones with a folding screen. In terms of size and ease of use, this form factor is reminiscent of the legendary Nokia Communicator series smartphones, but gives the experience of using a tablet and a smartphone at the same time. Multi-window mode, a separate screen for working with the phone when folded and our sympathies. Read the Samsung Galaxy Fold review on our website.

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Huawei P30 Pro

The smartphone that opened the night era to us this yearshooting. For the first time, the long Huawei race for Samsung was a success - the P30 Pro camera surpassed the capabilities of its eternal competitor due to two factors: 10x zoom and shooting capabilities in complete (!) Darkness. Along the way, laying a new genre in mobile photography - shooting the moon in the night sky. Read about the capabilities of the smartphone in our review of the Huawei P30 Pro and the material about shooting in Paris at night, all of which are taken on the camera of this smartphone.

Asus ZenBook Duo Pro

EditorialggI have always appreciated Asus for its penchant forexperiments. And this year, its controversial and technologically advanced laptop ZenBook Duo Pro achieved its goal - the company turned out to be an extremely interesting laptop with two displays (our regular readers will remember that the editors have always been skeptical about the idea of ​​laptops with two touch screens, but in this case we are talking not about technology for technology's sake, but about new opportunities for the user). You can read more about the Asus ZenBook Duo Pro in our editorial material.

iRobot Roomba S9 +

For the first time on our list there is a robot vacuum cleaner.Smart, autonomously working technology is becoming the same part of our lives as first computers and then smartphones. In the near future, there will be more and more robotic technology in our homes, which will take over some of our worries about cleaning, cooking and creating comfort. The iRobot Roomba S9+ robot vacuum cleaner is interesting because it combines all the advanced technologies in the industry. Thanks to its waste collection container, it is able to keep your home clean without human intervention for weeks and months. This model can also interact and work together with the iRobot Braava Jet m6 robot floor polisher. Read our review about how it works in practice. Owners of large apartments and houses will simply be delighted with this couple.

5th Generation Apple Watch

This year, by far, the best smartwatch is the 5th generation Apple Watch. Editorialggappreciated their impeccable design, best implementationapplications, especially with a focus on exercise and performance tracking, convenient Always On screen implementation, and support for contactless payments. This is not a complete list of their capabilities. You can read about everything in our Apple Watch 5 review.

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Xiaomi Mi Band 4

The reference and most massive of fitness bracelets inthis year got a color display, which immediately affected its popularity. Today, a fitness bracelet is the most desired and universal gift; in its price category, it simply has no equal. With the advent of displays in fitness bracelets, they only began to replace wrist watches with an alarm clock, but they also allowed to see incoming messages and notifications without reaching for a smartphone. And they lose to smart watches only in one thing - the lack of additional applications that the user can install. Read our review of Xiaomi Mi Band 4 to understand why we consider it worthy of an editorial award.

DJI Mavic Mini

Although drones have not yet become mass gadgets (althoughlike the TV that every family has), they certainly opened up several new worlds to humanity: the possibility of piloting a flying device and aerial photography. DJI, the undisputed technological leader in this industry, launched a budget model of the Mavic Mini drone on the market in 2019, which can make all these pleasures more accessible. At least with fewer compromises you had to make when buying a drone under $1,000.


Design of the Year 2019

This year, the best gadgets with outstanding design, we consider the following:

Motorola RAZR

The 2019 Motorola RAZR is definitely notis the most technologically advanced smartphone among the models with a folding display. But it definitely beats everyone with its design. Of course, this is a very nostalgic model for the entire industry, remembering the events of 15 years ago and the effect of the exploding bomb produced by the Motorola RAZR cot. And although the output of this smartphone is delayed, and in our area this will be a rare guest anyway, we cannot but mention the design of this device.

Vivo NEX3

It's not easy for Chinese manufacturersto win a place in the sun in the smartphone market. Therefore, they are forced to try harder than others and constantly offer customers something new and unusual. Vivo, thanks to the NEX3 smartphone, was able to be the first to enter the market with a smartphone screen called Waterfall, the distinctive feature of which is the maximum coverage of the usable display area, right down to the curved edges that are used in the interface and control of the smartphone. Read our review of Vivo NEX3 and, like us, pay tribute to the designers of this unusual and iconic model for the market.

OPPO Reno 2

This year's simple and elegant designthe solution allowed OPPO to distinguish its Reno 2 model from its competitors - smartphones with a retractable front camera. This smartphone has it implemented in the form of a triangle, which looks unusual and is more reliable than similar mechanisms of competitors. And this design has already given rise to a lot of associations - with a shark fin, a slice of pizza, and so on. You can read the review of OPPO Reno 2 on our website.

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Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra

All-in-one computers are not the industry at allwhere something meaningful, interesting and noticeable happens. However, this year Dell managed to make, if not a breakthrough, then present an interesting solution for a modular desktop computer in an all-in-one form factor. We appreciated the beauty of design and engineering, capable of creating something new where no one had thought of doing something new. It is a modular computer that can be upgraded over time to upgrade both the computer and the monitor. You can connect a second monitor on a second stand or replace the stand with an arm, not to mention the possibility of upgrading the electronics.

Iron Arctic fox 2019

Every year we also announce our unparalleled anti-award - the “Iron Arctic Fox”. We use it to reward devices that we want to unsee. This year the list is frankly small.

Nokia 9 PureView

With the flagship smartphone Nokia 9 PureView in thisthings didn't work out for HMD this year. A smartphone with 5 cameras, which should have been the pride of the manufacturer, became its biggest failure. The developers were never able to overcome all the shortcomings of the software, which did not allow them to reveal the potential of this model (as a result, our review of this smartphone was never published - there was absolutely nothing to praise it for, and devoting most of the review to criticism would have been a waste of our readers’ time). Therefore, his place in the history of 2019 is right here. Perhaps next year it will be better.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha

Usually we are “Iron Fox” without a twinge of conscienceWe issue expensive devices in which technology is created for the sake of technology. The classic representative of this technofauna in 2019 was the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha smartphone, which we had a chance to turn in our hands. Unable to launch a smartphone with a folding screen, Xiaomi decided to do something different, proposing to use a curved display in the smartphone, but not a folding one. The end result was beautiful, spectacular, but absolutely meaningless from the point of view of user experience. These flashy features are not used in any way in the interface and do not provide any benefits to the user. But they create a far from illusory threat of damage to the display - dropping this phone (and even taking into account the price tag with three zeros) will be even more stressful. If you use a smartphone in a case, then all its visual advantages instantly go down the drain.

Apple Pro Stand

The outgoing 2019 will be remembered for another loud storywith $ 1000 Pro Stand for Apple Pro Display XDR professional monitor. She also managed to become a joke in the presentation of MSI. We, of course, understand that professional equipment, firstly, cannot be cheap. Secondly, designers who use Apple technology in their work are extremely happy with it (and appreciate it, including for the design), and they buy it, mainly not for their money, but for the employer's days. But still - stand for $ 1,000 ?! Seriously?

That’s all with us. Stay with us in the coming new year and may the Force be with you!