EE Pocket-lint Awards 2020 winners: Find out the best gadgets, cars and games of the year
(Pocket-lint) – Here are the best gadgets and games of the last 12 months, as picked by the industry and public in the EE Pocket-lint Awards and unveiled during our virtual event (which you can watch above).
Whittled down from hundreds of products Pocket-lint reviewed this year, the final 18 winners are the best of the best in their categories. The judges have also chosen their favourite product of the year.
So, whether you’re looking for advice on a smartphone to buy or the number one laptop to get, this is the ultimate and definitive list of the best products launched in 2020.
And, what’s more, we’ve also made it easier for you to get hold of any of the winners or highly recommended runners-up from our own storefront on Amazon.co.uk.
Panasonic Lumix S5
This well-made and compact full-frame camera doesn’t cost a whole lot more than the Micro Four Thirds video champ: the GH5. And it’s cheaper than its larger-scale full-frame sibling: the Lumix S1. So, whichever way you look at it, the Lumix S5 is fantastic value for money for video-makers.
Highly recommended: Sony ZV-1
With its advanced processing capabilities, fast auto focus and real-time tracking, the ZV-1 really is a great option for vloggers.
All considered, this premium EV has got strong potential to rock Tesla’s dominance in the premium EV space. Striking looks, a super Google infotainment system, and decent top speed and battery range all make the Polestar 2 hard to beat.
Highly recommended: Honda e
There’s nothing else on the roads with the personality of the Honda e. It’s a breath of fresh air in the electric car market.
Best fitness tracker
Garmin Forerunner 945
Garmin brings big features including music, payments and maps, all while still delivering big battery life and rich sports tracking to help make the 945 one of its best sports watches yet.
Highly recommended: Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar
This solar-powered outdoors smartwatch adds additional battery refilling to the regular Fenix 6 Pro, in order to create a remarkable watch.
Best flagship phone
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
The iPhone 12 Pro does all it can to warrant that Pro label. The screen is stunning, the camera capability professional and, when you do get a 5G connection, the download speeds are super fast.
Highly recommended: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Free from gimmicks, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE appears to hit all the right notes.
The Last of Us Part II
How do you top one of the best games of all time? By making it bigger, badder and more focused. The Last of Us Part 2 is unsettling at times, but that gives its story and theme more impact. This is a grown-up experience through and through, and a fine example of gaming as art. PlayStation console owners are very lucky indeed.
Highly recommended: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
New Horizons takes an already much-loved formula and adds more bells and whistles than a Morris dancers’ convention. Crafting, terraforming and the calm, gentle gameplay make for one of the console’s highlights.
Best gaming laptop
Acer Predator Triton 500
Better than ever before, thanks to a brilliant design, modern specs, and a seriously snazzy 300Hz panel, this laptop achieves its lofty gaming goals.
Highly recommended: Razer Blade 15 Advanced
With the 4K version of its 15.6-inch laptop, Razer is saying it’s not just for gamers. This is also an ideal platform for creators who want lots of power on the go.
Best gaming / VR device
A revolutionary console and still going strong – winning this category for the third year running. It doesn’t fade in the face of PlayStation or Xbox, Nintendo strides down its own path. And for many it redefines on-the-go gaming, not just at-home, thanks to top first-party titles.
Highly recommended: Oculus Quest 2
The second-gen tether-free, wireless virtual reality headset from Oculus isn’t just more affordable than the original, it has heaps of improved features that make it a VR superstar.
The WH-1000XM4 wireless ANC over-ear headphones bring one word to mind – superb. With an enhanced feature set that makes many rivals look stone age, these over-ears provide excellent audio playback even with noise-cancelling turned up to the max. The best truly got even better in 2020.
Highly recommended: Philips Fidelio X3
These open-backed, on-ear headphones represent a triumphant return for a much-respected audio brand.
Best in-ear headphones
Apple AirPods Pro
We are incredibly impressed with the ease of setup and quality of sound that the AirPods Pro deliver. Active noise-cancellation makes a huge difference to ambient noise, making these in-ears far more capable than the originals.
Highly recommended: Beats Powerbeats
For the latest Powerbeats, Beats took a design and sound formula that works well, and brought it to a more affordable pair of workout earphones.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (13.5-inch)
A sensible upgrade to the already stellar series, the introduction of a USB-C port, larger trackpad, and more power add plus-points onto its impressive score sheet. Certainly, this is one sleek and sophisticated Windows laptop.
Highly recommended: Dell XPS 13
While other laptops tend to opt for ‘normal’, the XPS series has always pushed itself to be a step ahead.
Best phone (£250 – £500)
Google Pixel 4a 5G
This phone makes the most sense in Google’s 2020 Pixel series line-up. It’s cheaper than the Pixel 5, has a larger display, and the same great camera, making it a win in our books.
Highly recommended: OnePlus Nord
What OnePlus has quite expertly done is make a phone that doesn’t leave you pining for a pricier alternative.
Best smart home device
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
Ring’s 2020 flagship battery-powered doorbell is its most feature packed, complete with Pre-roll to capture events before they even happen. It’ll quickly become a reliable part of your smart home that you use everyday.
Highly recommended: Amazon Echo Show 8
At a significantly cheaper price than the larger Echo Show, the Show 8 has most of its appealing features and is also a significant step up from Echo Show 5.
Apple Watch SE
By pulling together many of the best bits from the Series 4 and Series 5, the SE is an affordable entry into the Apple Watch experience that will suit a majority of users. It’s the perfect middle ground for those users who aren’t fussed about having multiple high-end health sensors and the additional expense that brings in the S6 model.
Highly recommended: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
The second-gen Galaxy Watch refines rather than reinvents the design of the original, delivering a more feature-packed wrist-worn wearable with additional finesse
Sonos has not only followed up its previous full-fledged soundbar offering, it has improved it in every way possible. The Arc is a superb Dolby Atmos soundbar and has all the benefits of Sonos’ multi-room system and more.
Highly recommended: Harman Kardon Citation MultiBeam 700
This Harman Kardon could be the ideal solution for those who want some proper audio presence to their TV sound without the big physical presence that often goes along with it.
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen
It might be small, but the second-gen Beosound A1 packs a big punch in the sound department. That, plus Alexa voice control and waterproofing, makes it worth every penny.
Highly recommended: Amazon Echo (3rd Gen)
It may have been recently superceded by a rounder model, the 3rd Gen Echo is still a superb, compact smart speaker that some might even prefer.
Best streaming device
A winner for the second time in a row, Sky’s system has constantly evolved to become the hub of household entertainment, not just satellite TV. And, with a vast amount of 4K Ultra HD content on offer, plus Netflix and DIsney+, it truly is the yardstick of paid TV.
Highly recommended: Amazon Fire Stick 4K
The value of Amazon’s 4K device can’t be questioned compared to its rivals, making this a great access point to streaming services beyond just Amazon’s own Prime portal.
Best tablet / 2-in-1
Apple iPad Pro
The iPad Pro continues to be the perfect platform to use as a true laptop-replacement and on-the-go tablet. It really is unrivalled.
Highly recommended: Apple iPad
This is the perfect iPad option for many – there’s still no better entry-level tablet around.
Philips OLED 805
Philips has upgraded its picture engine with AI processing wizardry, and the results are spectacular. This 4K OLED telly makes everything look good.
Highly recommended: LG OLED CX
Oustanding picture performance – which, let’s face it, is the most important thing) -makes the latest ‘entry-level’ LG OLED range every bit as worthy as those that have gone before it.
EE superfast award 2020
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765
The Snapdragon 765 supports high-power features, such as 4K HDR capture and the fifth-gen Qualcomm AI Engine, as well as supporting advanced gaming features, but all for handsets that won’t break the bank. That is worthy of the EE superfast award 2020 in itself.
Product of the year 2020
Let’s face it, who hasn’t used Zoom over the last six months? It has come from almost nowhere to be the king of video calling and conferencing. By constantly adding new features and being as consumer-friendly as it is essential for businesses, it thoroughly deserves to be our product of the year. The way things are going, it will likely be as important in 2021 too.
Previous Pocket-lint Awards winners
The Pocket-lint Gadget Awards were first held in 2005. Over that time we’ve rewarded the best gadgets in the industry every year following similar criteria as today.
Over the years, the categories have changed and adapted to reflect the industry at the time, but the core aim has always been the same; to help showcase the best gadgets of the moment, the ones that have the ability to make a difference to our lives, or are just great fun to use.
Here then were the winners going all the way back to our first Awards in 2005…
Product of the year 2019: Nissan Leaf e+
- Best camera 2019: Fujifilm X-T3
- Best car 2019: Nissan Leaf e+
- Best fitness tracker 2019: Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
- Best flagship phone 2019: Apple iPhone 11 Pro
- Best game 2019: Red Dead Redemption 2
- Best gaming laptop 2019: Alienware m15 R2
- <Best gaming / VR device 2019: Nintendo Switch
- Best headphones 2019: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
- Best in-ear headphones 2019: Sony WF-1000XM3
- Best laptop 2019: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
- Best phone (under £500) 2019: Google Pixel 3a
- Best security camera 2019: Ring Video Doorbell 2<
- Best smart home device 2019: Amazon Echo Show 5
- Best smartwatch 2019: Apple Watch Series 5
- Best soundbar 2019: Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar
- Best speaker 2019: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
- Best streaming device 2019: Sky Q
- Best tablet / 2-in-1 2019: Apple iPad Air
- Best TV 2019: Philips OLED+ 984
- EE Superfast tech award 2019: Qualcomm X50 5G Modem
Product of year 2018: Huawei P20 Pro
- Best game 2018: God of War
- <Best camera 2018: Sony A7R III
- Best soundbar 2018: Sonos Beam
- Best smartphone 2018: Huawei P20 Pro
- Best mid-range phone 2018: Honor Play
- Best tablet / 2-in-1 2018: Apple iPad
- Best laptop 2018: Dell XPS 13
- Best on-ear headphones 2018: Sony WH-1000XM3
- Best in-ear headphones 2018: Libratone Track+
- <Best TV 2018: Philips OLED 803
- Best home entertainment device 2018: Sky Q
- Best streaming service 2018: BBC iPlayer
- Best smart home device 2018: Google Home
- Best speaker 2018: Sonos One
- Best gaming / VR device 2018: Sony PS4 Pro
- Best fitness device 2018: Fitbit Versa
- Best smartwatch 2018: Apple Watch Series 4
- Best car 2018: Jaguar i-Pace
- EE Superfast Award 2018 (joint winners): Apple A12 Bionic & Huawei Kirin 980
Product of the year 2017:Nintendo Switch
- Best game 2017: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Best interchangeable lens camera 2017: Panasonic Lumix GH5
- Best compact camera 2017: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V
- Best smartphone 2017: Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8+
- Best mid-range phone 2017: Honor 9
- Best tablet / 2-in-1 2017: Apple iPad Pro 10.5
- Best laptop 2017: Microsoft Surface Laptop
- Best headphones 2017: Bowers & Wilkins PX
- Best in-ear headphones 2017: Sony WF-1000X
- Best TV 2017: LG OLED B7
- Best home entertainment device 2017: Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote
- Best streaming service 2017: Netflix
- Best smart home device 2017: Amazon Echo
- Best wireless speaker 2017: Sonos Playbase
- Best gaming / VR device 2017: Nintendo Switch
- Best fitness gadget 2017: Garmin Fenix 5
- Best smartwatch 2017: Apple Watch Series 3
- Best car 2017: Range Rover Velar
- EE superfast award 2017: Apple W1 chip
Product of the year 2016: Amazon Echo
- Best game 2016: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
- Best camera 2016: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
- Best home entertainment device or service 2016: Sky Q
- Best smart home device 2016: Amazon Echo
- Best smartwatch 2016: Apple Watch Series 2
- Best wireless speaker 2016: BeoPlay A1 from B&O Play
- Best headphones 2016: Sony MDR-1000X
- Best tablet 2016: Apple iPad Pro 9.7
- Best fitness tracker 2016: Fitbit Charge 2
- Best TV 2016: Sony ZD9
- Best laptop 2016: Apple MacBook (2016)
- Best VR device 2016: Sony PlayStation VR
- Best phone 2016: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
- Best car 2016: Tesla Model S
Product of the year 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
- Best tablet / 2-in-1 2015: Apple iPad mini 4
- Best laptop 2015: Dell XPS 13
- Best phone 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
- Best camera 2015: Leica Q
- Best game 2015: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Best home entertainment device 2015: Amazon Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD
- Best wearable 2015: Apple Watch
- Best speaker 2015: Naim mu-so
- Best headphones 2015: Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8
- Best TV 2015: LG 65EF950V 4K OLED
- Best smarthome device 2015: Philips Hue with Siri
- Best Connected Toy 2015: Sphero BB-8
Product of the year 2014: iPhone 6
- Best game 2014: Alien: Isolation
- Best system camera 2014: Panasonic Lumix GH4
- Best phone 2014: Apple iPhone 6
- Best tablet 2014: Apple iPad Air 2
- Best phablet 2014: Samsung Galaxy Note 4
- Best laptop / 2-in-1 2014: Apple MacBook Air 2014
- Best home entertainment device 2014: Sony PlayStation 4
- Best headphones 2014: Sony MDR-1A
- Best TV 2014: Sony KD-65X9005B 4K TV
- Best smarthome device 2014: Philips Hue
- Best speaker 2014: Cambridge Audio Go V2
- Best compact camera 2014: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
- Best wearable 2014: LG G Watch R
- Product of the year 2014: iPhone 6
Product of the year 2013: Apple iPad Air
- Best digital compact camera 2013: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II
- Best digital system camera 2013: Sony Alpha A7
- Best game 2013: Grand Theft Auto V
- Best home entertainment device 2013: Now TV
- Best wearable tech 2013: Pebble
- Best headphones 2013: Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear
- Best portable speakers 2013: Cambridge Audio Minx Go
- Best television 2013: Sony KD-65X9005A 65-inch 4K TV
- Best tablet 2013: Apple iPad Air
- Best mobile phone 2013: HTC One
- Best phablets 2013: Samsung Galaxy Note 3
- Best laptop 2013: MacBook Air 13-inch
Product of the year 2012: Windows 8
- Best digital camera 2012: Nikon D800
- Best laptop 2012: Apple MacBook Air 13-inch
- Best app 2012: Google Chrome
- Best game 2012: Journey
- Best home entertainment device 2012: Sky TV
- Best portable audio 2012: iPod Touch 5th generation
- Best TV 2012: Panasonic Viera TX-P50VT50B and the Sony Bravia KDL-46HX853
- Best tablet 2012: Nexus 7
- Best mobile phone 2012: Samsung Galaxy S III
- Innovation of the year 2012: Nike+ Fuelband
Product of the year 2011: Apple iPad 2
- Best digital camera 2011: Sony NEX-5N
- Best laptop 2011: Apple MacBook Air 13-inch
- Best app 2011: Sky Go
- Best game 2011: Batman: Arkham City
- Best home entertainment device 2011: Sonos Play:3
- Best TV 2011: Samsung UE55D8000
- Best tablet 2011: Apple iPad 2
- Best phone 2011: Samsung Galaxy S II
- Innovation of the year 2011: OnLive
Product of the year 2010: Kindle Wi-Fi
- Best audio 2010: Apple iPod touch 4G
- Best app 2010: Amazon Kindle app
- Best game 2010: Angry Birds
- Best TV 2010: Philips 21:9 Cinema 3D
- Best home cinema kit 2010: Xbox 360 S
- Best phone 2010: HTC Desire HD
- Best camera 2010: Canon EOS 550D
- Best computer 2010: Apple iPad
- Innovation of the year 2010: Microsoft Kinect
Product of the year 2009: Spotify
- Best music gadget 2009: Apple iPod touch (3rd gen)
- Best car gadget 2009: TomTom XL Live
- Best digital camera 2009: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
- Best laptop 2009: Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
- Best software 2009: Spotify
- Best game 2009: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Best home cinema gadget 2009: PS3 Slim
- Best mobile phone 2009: HTC Hero
- Best gadget 2009: Eye-Fi
Product Of The year 2008: MSI Wind
- Best music gadget 2008: Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin iPod speakers
- Best car gadget 2008: TomTom One
- Best digital camera 2008: Fujifilm F60fd
- Best laptop 2008: MSI Wind
- Best software/service 2008: Firefox 3
- Best game 2008: LittleBigPlanet
- Best home cinema device 2008: Pioneer KURO PDP-LX5090 television
- Best mobile phone 2008: BlackBerry Storm
- Best email device 2008: Nokia E71
- Best Eco gadget 2008: Pure Evoke Flow
- Innovation of the year 2008: Asus, for the Eee PC
Product of the year 2007: Nintendo Wii
- Best MP3/portable media player 2007: Archos 605 Wi-Fi
- Best headphones 2007: Sennheiser PXC450
- Best DAB radio 2007: Pure Evoke-1S
- Best iPod speaker system 2007: Logic3 i-Station Traveller speakers
- Best mobile phone 2007: Nokia N95 8GB
- Best smartphone 2007: Apple iPhone
- Best mobile phone accessory 2007: Jawbone Bluetooth headset
- Best satnav 2007: Navman S90i
- Best car gadget 2007: Griffin itrip auto
- Best compact digital camera 2007: Fuji FinePix Z5fd digital camera
- Best DLSR digital camera 2007: Canon EOS 40D DSLR digital camera
- Best printer 2007: Kodak EasyShare 5300 All In One Printer
- Best laptop 2007: Sony VAIO VGN-TZ11XN
- Best PC peripheral 2007: Sandisk USB SD Card
- Best VoIP accessory 2007: Philips VOIP841
- Best software 2007: iLife 08
- Best website 2007: Facebook
- Best TV 2007: Pioneer Kuro
- Best home cinema accessory 2007: Apple TV
- Best console game 2007: Gears of War
- Best PC game 2007: Bioshock
- Best games console 2007: Nintendo Wii
- Best sports and fitness Gadget 2007: Timex iControl
- Best green gadget 2007: USBcell
Product of the year 2006: BlackBerry Pearl
- Best MP3/portable media player 2006: Creative Zen Vision:M
- Best mobile phone 2006: Sony Ericsson k800i
- Best mobile phone or MP3 accessory 2006: Bose QuietComfort 3 noise cancelling headphones
- Best GPS unit 2006: TomTom One
- Best compact digital camera 2006: Fujifim Finepix F30
- Best prosumer digital camera 2006: Nikon D80
- Best imaging accessory 2006: HP Photosmart A618 printer
- Best laptop 2006: Apple MacBook Pro
- Best PC peripheral 2006: Logitech MX Revolution mouse
- Best home entertainment device 2006: Sky HD
- Best PC or console game 2006: New Super Mario Brothers (Nintendo DS)
- Best software 2006: Apple iLife ’06
- Best website 2006: YouTube
- Best gadget 2006: Nintendo DS Lite
- Best MP3 player 2005: Apple iPod nano
- Best portable media player 2005: Sony PSP console
- Best mobile phone 2005: Samsung SGH-D600
- Best prosumer digital camera 2005: Nikon D50
- Best compact digital camera 2005: Pentax Optio 50
- Best PC or console game 2005: Lumines (PSP)
- Best laptop 2005: Apple 15-inch PowerBook
- Best home entertainment gadget 2005: Sonos Digital Music System
- Best PDA/smartphone 2005: Palm Treo 650
- Best GPS unit 2005: TomTom Go 700
- Best lifestyle gadget 2005: Sony PSP console
- Innovation of the year 2005: Dyson Ball
Writing by Rik Henderson.