Alex’s Best of Tech 2021

Well with 2021 finally, but slowly crawling over the finish line, it’s the time of year when we review technology in 2021 and our best choices, and it’s my choices that have made it to the list. I was considering doing the best and the worst in technology in 2021, but honestly I could be here for a while through both, so let’s just focus on the best that 2021 had brought us technically.

Smartphones

2021 has brought us many phones we have reviewed here at Ausdroid, and while some have been amazing, others not so much. Admittedly, there is not really a perfect device that each has their own quirks, twists and differences, there have been some that have turned our heads, that’s for sure.

For my advanced choice, I go with the Pixel 6 Pro. While I would usually say Samsung Galaxy S or Note devices, I feel that Samsung has lost some of its edge, and I hope that its 2022 series, which generally sets the benchmark high for its advanced devices, makes it a little better .

After playing with a few Pixel 6 Pro devices, I have to say that I feel like the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro is the Google device we have been waiting for. Yes AND the Pixel XL will always have a special place in my technical heart, I feel that the development that Google has made with Pixel software and hardware offers the device we have been waiting for. The new Material You UI has certainly piqued my interest and I hope Google will only improve it in 2022.

For my middle class, this was a bit of a difficult choice as the middle class has become the new battleground for OEMs over the last few years with e.g. Samsung’s Galaxy A-Series, OPPO, VIVO, HMD Global via the Nokia brand and Motorola. the different price ranges within the middle class.

My selection is actually two devices from different brands. The first would be the Moto G30 from Motorola, which I found was the almost perfect mid-range device at a price of under $ 500. My only issue was the inclusion of the macro lens on the rear camera. While some might like it, I personally would have preferred an extra zoom lens as macro can be a bit difficult to get the closest or almost perfect image.

You can read my review of the Moto G30 here.

My second choice goes to the TCL 10L, which offered similar specs at a $ 500 discount. I found that both the TCL 10L and Moto G30 offered a relatively good experience and a price tag that does not hit the wallet so much. Although I have two criticisms of the TCL 10L, as there have not been many, if any, all security updates in months, but also again the inclusion of a macro lens over an extra wide or zoom lens.

You can read my review of TCL 10L here.

Laptops and tablets

As for tablets or laptops, I have to say that there was not much in the way of tablets other than that the usual suspect is the Samsung Galaxy Tab series, but I think a notable mention should go to the Nokia T20 Tablet, given this is HMD Global’s first entry into tablets, and I think the price and specifications would make it a great challenger to a child-based home tablet or for those who want a tablet to be able to perform quick searches or watch streaming services on the speed.

In terms of laptop, I have to say that the ASUS ZenBook Duo UX482 dual screen window based laptop for me is the winner as I did not quite expect the setup. Although the keyboard layout was a bit unusual, the addition of an extra screen, albeit only the 12.6-inch matte touchscreen Tilt ScreenPad, which complimented the 14-inch NanoEdge touchscreen (1920 x 1080) for me, made it the perfect device for to work from home that can complement any home office or on the go.

You can read my review of the ASUS ZenBook Duo UX482 here.

accessories

This year, I feel the explosion of portable technology, mainly related to True Wireless Stereo (TWS) and Active Noise Canceling (ANC) earphones and headphones has made this field very crowded with various options and price ranges available to all of us consumers.

So I struggled again to pick one that really stood out, with quite a few options to choose from.

So for my first I have to use the OPPO Enco Free2 earphones. I thought these are super portable with great sound and battery life that will not break the bank if you are without compromising too much.

You can read my review of the OPPO Enco Free2 earphones here.

My other TWS ANC earphones are again from the OPPO Enco series, which are the EncoX earphones. These knobs are the only product from the Enco series that offers Dynaudio sound and comes back with a pretty decent battery life and includes wireless charging if you have a wireless charger on the go or at home.

You can read my review of OPPO Enco X here.

Finally, the latest wireless Bluetooth earphones go as a special mention to the realme Buds Air Pro, which offers close enough sound to the Enco Free2 earphones and battery life, which again will not waste money when it comes to buying the earphones.

You can read my full review of realme Buds Air Pro here.

Predictions for 2022

My predictions for 2022 are a bit mixed. I feel we will see more of the devices in the middle market shine and become even more crowded. I’m waiting to see how the Samsung Galaxy Ultra or Ultra Pro that could be the new Note version of the Galaxy series will be fair and to be honest I hope they bring the best of the Galaxy S series with some of the note functions with S pen.

Also feel like there could be more chrome-based tablets or hybrid-tablet laptops shining through in 2022. This would be ideal for me as I feel like Android-based tablets will soon become a thing of the past, potentially with more and more people choosing to continue working from home and Android tablets do not really provide the best option for that work / home lifestyle. Do not get me wrong there will still be some possible Android tablets on the way and they would be more for those on the go who want something to sit down and maybe watch from YouTube or streaming services and video on the go but I feel Chrome OS is ready for the next wave of home / work devices on the go.

I’m also excited that Google will potentially release a Wear OS smartwatch that, based on leaks, renderings and ad images showing a Moto 360-inspired dial, has certainly piqued my interest and is definitely looking forward to more Wear OS devices , but several improvements to make Wear OS a true Apple Watch competitor. Perhaps even further integration of Fitbit into Wear would be interesting to see.

Before concluding here, I would like to thank you our readers and supporters for all your comments (and yes, we read them and have heard both positive and negative feedback), but generally for supporting us here in a very difficult year.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and that you and your family and friends have a safe and great New Year in 2022. Be safe and get your booster shots if you are eligible as I feel this will be the only way we can enjoy more freedoms in the new year (not trying to be political, just go on the science and the numbers here, please do not shoot me).

So now over to you, what have been your favorite devices for 2021, and what are your predictions or things you look forward to seeing and reading about here on Ausdroid?

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