Editor's Choice Awards – Best Tech & Mobile 2017

This year it's all about artificial intelligence, facial recognition and the X factor

by Phil Hinton Dec 9, 2017 at 8:01 AM

  • Welcome to our first annual Editor’s Choice awards.
    Although we regularly award Recommended, Highly Recommend, a Best Buy or Reference Status badges to products during our review process we have, up until now, never had an end of year award for the best product in each category.

    However unlike the review badges, our Editor’s Choice Awards celebrate the best product or technology of the year, the items that we think deliver the best performance or offer the greatest innovation. In addition our editorial team will tell you exactly why they have chosen the item, allowing you to decide if you want to consider adding it to your system or not.

    Over six articles we will present the awards for TVs, Projectors, Home AV, AV Streaming Services & Devices, Hi-Fi and Tech & Mobile. The criteria for being eligible are simple – the product must have been reviewed by AVForums in the last 12 to 18 months and it must currently be available as part of the official product range from a manufacturer and not discontinued before the end of 2017. In this article we look at the best Tech and Mobile Products of 2017:

    Best Tech Product 2017 – Amazon Alexa

    Amazon's Alexa has done more than any other product to demonstrate the potential of a voice assistant with capability to understand instructions and learn over time. As a result it has launched the idea of the Smart Home concept to the masses, allowing you to use Alexa to order your taxi or takeaway, dim your lights and set reminders, play your favourite music, books or radio and even switch on your TV and launch Netflix. Although some smart devices aren’t as well integrated with the Alexa app as they are their own, it’s early days and you can still achieve plenty just by saying a few words. Probably the best move Amazon made was to make Alexa open source, meaning anyone can develop a skill, and it’s starting to bear fruit in the AV world with more and more manufacturers and app developers releasing Alexa skills. Amazon have included Alexa on the Echo 2, Echo Plus, Echo Show and Dot, quickly making them the must-have devices for AV enthusiasts and Alexa has gone from strength to strength, making it our choice of the Best Tech Product of the year.

    Best Mobile Phone 2017 – Apple iPhone X

    Apple have been refining rather than evolving their hugely popular iPhone over the last couple of years and, as a result, the company was in danger of falling behind the competition. However to celebrate ten years since the launch of the original iPhone, Apple released the iPhone X in late 2017. The X (as in the Roman numeral for 10) proved to be the most sophisticated iPhone yet, albeit with an eye-waveringly expensive price tag. However you certainly get what you pay for with a larger OLED display, an impressive camera, powerful processing and Apple’s usual gorgeous design and superb build quality. There’s an excellent set of apps, wireless recharging and Face ID – which is the best implementation of facial recognition to date. There was a lot riding on the Apple iPhone X but incredibly it lived up to the hype and is our choice for the Best Mobile Phone of the year.

    Best Innovation in Mobile Phone Technology 2017

    Although Apple’s inclusion of Face ID, their version of facial recognition, on the iPhone X got a lot of coverage when their flagship model launched, the technology was first implemented by Samsung on their Galaxy S8. The second generation of Samsung’s facial recognition software was on the Galaxy Note8 and Apple’s implementation of Face ID on the iPhone X means that pretty soon we’ll all be turning on our smartphones by simply looking at them. That makes facial recognition our choice as the Best Innovation in Mobile Phone Technology this year.

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