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Android Authority: The Best of 2021 Awards

From phones to laptops, earbuds to accessories, and wearables to Chromebooks, these are our favorite products of 2021.

Published onDecember 19, 2021

OnePlus TV with Android Authority logo

We pride ourselves on our reviews here at Android Authority, whether it’s a bleeding-edge smartphone, a wireless charger, a Chromebook, or a robot vacuum. No matter what the product category, we figure out what makes that product tick, who it’s best suited for, and whether it really lives up to the claims its manufacturer makes. After a year of reviewing hundreds of products, these are the best we’ve come across in 2021.

Related: The best Android phones

Best smartphone: Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel Stand 2nd gen Android Authority Editors Choice and Best of 2021 badge
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Google Pixel 6 is without a doubt the best value-for-money smartphone released in 2021. It delivers the same premium Android 12 experience as the Pixel 6 Pro and packs much of the same hardware. While the Pro model naturally offers a bit extra, the Pixel 6 more than makes up for it with an unbeatable price of $599. Find out which Pixel is right for you with our Pixel 6 buyer’s guide.

google pixel 6 press image sorta seafoam
Google Pixel 6
The more affordable Pixel
The Google Pixel 6 features a 6.4-inch FHD+ display and runs on the all-new Google Tensor SoC. It has an upgraded camera system, exclusive software features, and offers some of the best hardware Google has ever produced.

Best wearable: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Android Authority Best of 2021 badge
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is one of those rare smartwatches that gets better over time. It has received some updates that have helped in a big way on the software front, earning the Watch 4 our top spot for wearables this year. It’s a real showcase for Wear OS 3 and offers a great experience considering it’s the first wearable Samsung has released on Google’s wearable platform for years. To decide which model fits your needs, check out our Galaxy Watch 4 buyer’s guide.

samsung galaxy watch 4 44mm green
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Samsung's best smartwatch, now with Wear OS
Samsung and Google combined forces to improve the software situation with smartwatches on Android. The result is the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, running the new, co-developed Wear OS. The standard Galaxy Watch 4 is for the sportier crowd, while the Watch 4 Classic is for those who'd like a watch they can wear to the office.

Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Android Authority Best of 2021 badge
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is our favorite Chromebook of 2021. With its excellent performance, display, build quality, and ports, the Spin 713 is the upper mid-range Chromebook to get. Its convertible form factor and MIL-STD-810H rating add tons of flexibility, meaning it never has to leave your side. As Eric said in our review: it may not look like much but it’s got it where it counts. Take a look at more of the best Chromebooks.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713
When you’re on the go, you need a laptop that can keep up with you.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a powerful mid-range Chromebook that includes a 13.5-inch display, Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. It also boasts Thunderbolt 4 and HDMI ports, along with Wi-Fi 6.

Best laptop: Apple MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)

Apple MacBook Pro 2021 M1 Pro Android Authority Best of 2021 badge
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you can’t have missed the impact the new 2021 MacBook Pro has had. The MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chip represents a seachange in what we can expect from laptop performance on battery power. With the reintroduction of MagSafe charging, the SD card slot, and HMDI port, along with improvements to the display, speakers, and battery life, the MacBook Pro 2021 is the Mac we’ve been waiting for. Check out more of the best laptops money can buy.

  • Second place: Microsoft Surface Pro 8
  • Third place: HP Spectre X360 14
Apple 16 inch MacBook Pro Late 2021 Widget Image
2021 Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro,16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
Supercharged for pros
With the blazing-fast M1 Pro or M1 Max chip — the first Apple silicon designed for pros — you get groundbreaking performance and amazing battery life. Add to that a stunning Liquid Retina XDR display, the best camera and audio ever in a Mac notebook, and all the ports you need.

Best headphones: Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony WF 1000XM4 Android Authority Best of 2021 badge
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Sony WF-1000XM4 are, without a doubt, the best true wireless earbuds with ANC available right now. They offer far better active noise cancellation, fit, and battery life than the AirPods Pro, their closest rival. The Sony WF-1000XM4 provide great customization options on paired Android devices (and only slightly fewer on Apple devices). At $279 they’re not the cheapest ANC earbuds around, but they are the best. See more of the best true wireless earbuds we’ve tried.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds in black against a white background.
Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds
Noise-cancelling earbuds with plenty of software features to set themselves apart.
The WF-1000XM4 truly wireless headphones take industry-leading noise canceling and audio quality to the next level. Made to fit every ear, they offer a personalized experience that adjusts to every situation.

Best smart home product: Roborock S7

Roborock S7 Android Authority Best of 2021 badge
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Roborock S7 is a revolution in robot vacuums that also mop. Its clever VibraRise system detects carpet and lifts the vibrating mop bracket to avoid getting your carpet or rugs wet. Once it’s back on a hard floor, the mop lowers back down and the vibration motor scrubs your floors clean. All that and it vacuums with 2,500Pa suction power too. The Roborock S7 can also be paired with a convenient auto-emptying dock. Check out more of our favorite robot vacuums.

Roborock S7 render
Roborock S7
Level Up Your Cleaning with Sonic Mopping
Sonic mopping technology. Intelligent mop lifting. Ultrasonic carpet recognition. New all-rubber brush. Upgraded floating brush.

Best streaming device: Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Roku streaming stick 4k Android Authority Best of 2021 badge
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is a powerhouse in a tiny package. With crisp 4K resolution and an upgraded processor, it catapults Roku’s $50 streaming stick into the top tier. It supports HDR 10/10+ and Dolby Vision and the bundled remote lets you search your favorite streaming platforms with your voice. Don’t miss our Roku device buyer’s guide for more.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K 2021 Widget Image
Roku Streaming Stick 4K 2021
Designed to stream, not to be seen
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is faster and more powerful than ever. The redesigned long-range Wi-Fi receiver is super-charged with up to 2x the speed.

Best accessory: Anker Powerport III 25W

Anker PowerPort III 25W Android Authority Best of 2021 badge
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

You don’t see many 5-star rated accessories on Android Authority. The Anker Powerport III 25W, however, deserves every bit of credit we can give it. It’s truly the only phone charger you’ll need, with support for USB Power Delivery PPS, Quick Charge 4+, and Anker’s PowerIQ3 for legacy charging standards including those for iPhones. That means you can fast charge any phone you have with the same charger. Check out more of our favorite charging accessories.

Anker PowerPort III 25W wall charger
Anker PowerPort III 25W
Built for phones new and old
With the latest USB Power Delivery PPS and Quick Charge standards on board, legacy protocol support, and 25W of power, the Anker PowerPort III 25W is the ideal modern smartphone charger.

Be sure to check out our Reader’s Choice phone of the year and take a look at all of Android Authority‘s top picks in our Editor’s Choice phone of the year article. Let us know your favorite products of 2021 in the comments below!

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