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We’re only halfway through 2019 and we’ve already seen a crazy number of cool, innovative tech releases.
From camera-packed Android phones to long-lasting wireless earbuds to immersive wireless VR, there’s been no shortage of impressive gadgets to drool over. Once again, we awarded the very best with our Mashable Choice seal of approval.
There’s a lot more exciting tech on the horizon, but for now, these are the 10 best products of the year.
10. DJI Osmo Action
Having conquered drones, DJI’s now setting its sights on GoPro with its Osmo Action. The action camera bests GoPro’s impressive Hero 7 Black with a color LCD screen on the front (perfect for selfies and vlogging) and back, super smooth in-body electronic stabilization, and a lens design that supports neutral density (ND) filters for capturing better footage in bright situations. Also nice: It’s $50 less than a Hero 7 Black.
9. Dyson V11 Torque Drive
The V11 Torque Drive is pricey, but nobody builds a vacuum like Dyson. At first glance, the V11 Torque Drive wireless vacuum looks nearly identical to the Cyclone V10 — it still resembles a ray gun! But look deeper and you’ll find a handful of notable upgrades, including suction that’s 20 percent more powerful, a 40 percent larger dust bin, and an LCD screen that displays battery life in real time.
8. Beats Powerbeats Pro
AirPods are great wireless earbuds for pretty much everyone, but if they don’t cut it for you, we highly recommend Beats Powerbeats Pro. Powered by the same Apple H1 chip as AirPods 2, the Powerbeats seamlessly connect to iOS devices and support faster audio switching between iOS and Mac devices. The wireless earbuds aren’t as compact as AirPods, but they do provide better fit, superior sound, and longer battery life (up to 9 hours versus 5 hours on a single charge).
7. iPad mini 5 and iPad Air 3
The iPad mini (fifth-generation) and iPad Air (third-generation) may not look new — they’re rocking old designs — but they’re improved where it counts: inside. Besides differences in screen size, the iPad mini 5 and iPad Air 3 are virtually identical to their predecessors and are built to last for years to come. Both have powerful A12 Bionic chips, long-lasting battery life, and Apple Pencil (first-gen) support. These aren’t merely great tablets for watching video, playing games, and reading; iPadOS coming later this fall will make them even more capable alternatives to a laptop.
6. AirPods 2
Despite not adding any improvements to sound quality or listening time, Apple’s second-generation AirPods are still the best wireless earbuds for most people. The new wireless earbuds retain the same compact design, easy connectivity, and long-lasting battery life as the original, but improve talk time by an hour. AirPods 2 also have hands-free Siri voice controls and can be purchased with a wireless charging case.
5. Huawei P30 Pro
Trump’s trade war with China continues to cripple Huawei, but that doesn’t change the fact that the P30 Pro has arguably the most impressive smartphone camera system ever crammed into a slab of metal and glass. Using a new “SuperSpectrum” image sensor and periscope system consisting of lenses and mirrors, the P30 Pro can shoot incredible nighttime photos and zoom all the way up to 50x.
4. Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL
While everyone’s busy cramming in more features to justify ballooning prices, Google went in the opposite direction with the Pixel 3a and 3a XL. The materials aren’t as premium (plastic instead of metal and glass) and the performance is slower, but they still offer a best-in-class camera with Night Sight. The two mid-range Pixel 3a phones also come with a feature their more expensive siblings don’t have: headphone jacks.
Price: Starting at $399
3. Samsung Galaxy S10
A decade after releasing the first Galaxy phone, Samsung proved it hasn’t run out of steam yet. The company’s Galaxy S10 — all four of them — is easily the most uncompromising smartphone release of the year. Whereas other phones removed features to make room for new ones, Samsung added more without cutting anything. Big and gorgeous screens, versatile cameras, fast performance, headphone jacks, 5G — you name a feature and at least one of the S10’s probably has it.
Price: Starting at $749
2. OnePlus 7 Pro
After setting an impossibly high bar with the OnePlus 6 and 6T in 2018, OnePlus returned with the OnePlus 7 Pro, another beast of a phone. Not only does the OnePlus 7 Pro continue to undercut other flagship phones on price, it leapfrogs them with features such as a stunning notch-free display with a silky smooth 90Hz refresh rate, a rear camera system with three lenses (wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto), a pop-up selfie camera, and unmatched performance.
Price: Starting at $669
1. Oculus Quest
Believe us when we say we weren’t expecting Facebook’s Oculus Quest to be one of our top gadgets of 2019. The VR headset blew us away when we tried it at CES and then again when we got to play an extensive library of immersive VR games (like Beatsaber and Super Hot) when it launched in the spring. Quest isn’t a breakthrough for VR simply because it doesn’t require a beefy PC or smartphone or external sensors to track your head and hand movements. It’s a new milestone for VR because it’s actually fun to play with. The same can’t be said for pretty much all other VR headsets.
Price: Starting at $399
Senior Tech Correspondent
DJI, Zlata Ivleva, Stan Schroeder, Raymond Wong