Stuff Gadget Awards 2017: These are the 23 best gadgets of the year

We've spent a whole year testing every gadget you can buy. And the 2017 winners are…

Welcome, one and all, to the Stuff Gadget Awards 2017.

Yes, it's time for us to once more host the gadget equivalent of the Oscars, dishing out prizes for 2017’s finest phones, most creative computers, flashiest cameras and much more.

We've tested well over 400 gadgets, games and apps in the past 12 months as part of our constant quest to help you spend your money wisely. So we should know what we're talking about.

Time to put your tux on…

Smartphone of the Year 2017: Google Pixel 2 XL

Let’s hear it for the champ. Such is the Pixel 2 XL's brilliance. Google didn't quite manage it last year, but with the best hardware powering the best version of Android you'll find on any phone, anywhere, the Pixel 2 XL has finally evolved into a complete package.

Even its divisive design from last year has aged like fine wine. But, what makes the Pixel 2 XL such a stunner? It’s a mix of buttery-smooth software combined with rock-solid hardware that make it positively lust-worthy. Add to this a point-and-shoot camera that's the best in the business and you’ve got a bona fide phone of the year. We can't wait to find out how Google will top this.

The runners up

  • HTC U11
  • Apple iPhone X
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • OnePlus 5

Where to buy

Buy the Google Pixel 2 from Flipkart

 

Why I voted for it

Google was already onto a good thing with its first Pixel phones. They didn't quite cut it with the most desirable flagships but a year later, they've evolved and how! A supreme snapper, excellent software and hardware to match, it's a treat to use. This is the definitive Android experience and I can't wait to see what's next.

READ THE FULL REVIEW

Computer of the Year 2017: Apple MacBook Pro

No matter how far away you want to get from your smartphone, Apple finds a way to bring you back. This year’s MacBook Pro updates were huge, starting with the Touch ID that puts an end to entering fussy passwords to access your all-aluminium man cave. If you have the Apple Watch, things get even easier for logging in.

Just wear it! For an all-day machine, the incredible 10-hour battery life still holds true, inspite of the fancy (but frankly, of limited use yet) TouchBar that is as smooth as an eel rolling in garlic butter. If there ever was the perfect trackpad, this is it. Oversized to the point of hilarity, it takes force touch and four and five-finger gestures to whole new levels that will spoil you silly and no other laptop will cut it.

The runners up

  • Apple iPad Pro 10.5
  • Asus UX430UQ
  • Samsung Galaxy TAB S3
  • Dell XPS 13

Where to buy

Buy Apple MacBook Pro 2017 here

Why I voted for it

Frustrations arising from the mounting cost of dongles aside, I can’t think of another laptop I would rather be spending a third of my day on, everyday! The gorgeous 500 Nit Retina display, the massive glass trackpad and the sheer feel of this gorgeous piece of engineering makes it worth your drool and dough, especially if you’re an Apple Watch and iPhone user.

READ THE FULL REVIEW

Smartwatch of the Year 2017: Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS)

Yes, we picked the one that can’t make phone calls. Why? Because you probably don’t need a smartwatch that’s capable of such a thing. In all likelihood, the standard-issue Watch Series 3 will do you just fine – and that’s an understatement.

With Apple’s new S3 chip powering it, plus the GPS and waterproofing skills of its predecessor, this Watch does pretty much everything you’d want it to without asking you to sign up to a brand new ‘phone’ contract.

Most importantly, it’s a truly great fitness buddy that provides accurate workout stats however you prefer to exercise. Add to this near-seamless integration with your iPhone and you’ve got the best smartwatch going by far.

The runners up

  • Garmin Fenix 5
  • Huawei Watch 2
  • Samsung Gear S3 Classic
  • Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45

Car of the Year 2017: BMW 530D M-Sport

Since the beginning of sports executive sedan times, the BMW 5 Series has been the top choice of bipolar parents. The 530D M Sport is the ideal car to flick the switch after dropping the kids to school and indulge in some smoking of the legal kinds.

The new generation 5-series carries on the tradition of being a supreme all-rounder but in this rather special version, it inches ever closer to the hallowed M car without breaking the bank. It’s silky six-pot diesel motor churns out a healthy 265bhp and an insane 600Nm of torque, propelling you to the horizon with no time to play with the remote-controlled parking, gesture control, dual 10.2 in rear screens. The real play here is the drive and ride that earns it the top spot this year.

The runners up

  • Volvo V90 Cross Country
  • Mini Cooper S JCW Edition
  • Jaguar F-Pace
  • Sokda Octavia RS

Bike of the Year 2017: Triumph Street Triple RS

 

When we first rode this bike way back in Feb this year, we instantly knew it was special. Triumph had taken the best of what it knew and given us a bike that was not only quick, but handled like an absolute dream on the track. Once you are done doing hot laps, you could wriggle out of your leathers, change into a tee and head to a food truck, parked on the side of a busy street in a city center and you won’t be pulling your hair out.

This thing changes character in an instant depending on your throttle input and it does it rather brilliantly. So, after riding it around the Spanish Grand Prix racetrack in Catalunya and through the utterly breathtaking Spanish countryside, we knew the Triumph Street Triple RS is one special superbike.

The runners up

  • MV Agusta Brutale 800 
  • Triumph Bonneville Bobber
  • Indian Chieftain Darkhorse
Why I voted for it

Breathtaking specs look fantastic on paper, however it all comes down to how it performs in the real world. The feel, the instant gratification you derive from using a product. From the moment I swung my leg over the Street Triple RS, to the moment of writing this. I want to own this superbike. It is maximum gratification on two wheels. Period

Headphones of the Year 2017: Sony WF-1000X

Look, we saw that Apple AirPods advert too, and it was slick enough to make us forget quite how ridiculous they look on anyone who isn’t astoundingly handsome.

Thankfully, Sony’s wireless WF-1000X earbuds are a perfect fit for us normal-looking folk as well. In essence, this means they plug straight into your lugs, don’t have any weird dangly bits and actually sound the business.

A huge step up from the AirPods – largely thanks to slick noise-cancelling tech – the WF-1000Xs are the best of their kind that we’ve tried, and the first such pair to deliver on their wireless promise without making any obvious compromises.

The runners up

  • Beyerdynamic Byron
  • Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Wireless
  • Sony WH-1000XM2
  • Soundmagic E10BT

System Camera of the Year 2017: Nikon D850

 

Our last year’s award winner, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV still has the top spot in our hearts when it comes to picking the slickest pro DSLR. We thought the Nikon D500 was a fantastic camera for its price. Then they handed us the D850 and we instantly put it to the test. A gruelling 10 day drive through the jaw-dropping northeast region of our country.

It absolutely won our hearts with its intuitive button placement, brilliant weather-sealed body, wireless capabilities and the sheer list of features it offered on paper. Then it did something even better, by altogether blowing our collective senses with its staggering performance across the shooting situations. You’ve earned this one Nikon.

The runners up

  • Fujifilm GFX 50S
  • Sony A6500
  • Panasonic GH5
  • Leica TL2

Where to buy

Buy the Nikon D850 here from Amazon India 

Why I voted for it

The Nikon D850 completely sorted me out without even trying. With a sensor that can eat more light than you can imagine, I was able to capture detail-rich, dynamic range smouldered shots regardless of the lighting conditions. It is supremely fast with its AF and the touchscreen response is superlative. This is the camera to beat folks.

READ THE FULL REVIEW

Action Cam or Drone of the Year 2017: DJI Spark

We need to make this very clear: a drone is not a toy. That’s despite it being your very own personal flying machine, that will magically stop if you try to speed it into a brick wall, and that dogs love chasing around the park like some kind of autonomous tennis ball.

No, drones are for serious filmic sorts with cash to burn and no pups to entertain… unless you’re talking about the DJI Spark, of course.

Sure, it’s masquerading as an affordable auteur’s delight with HD recording and 50km/h top speed, but it can also snap an aerial selfie by spotting your hand gesture. Try doing that and not cracking a Cheshire cat smile afterwards. The Tracy Island playset ain’t got nothing on this bad boy.

The runners up

  • DJI Mavic Pro
  • GoPro Hero6
  • Insta360 One

Where to buy

Buy the DJI Spark here from DJI 

Why I voted for it

Drones intertwine fun and function in a way that’s hard to resist. Piloting an aircraft so compact while capturing footage fit for a movie is ridiculously addictive. Add in gesture control and auto capture modes and you’ve got the number one spot on my Christmas wishlist. In fact, I didn’t even wait for Santa this time. I went out and got one myself.​

READ THE FULL REVIEW