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Android Authority: The Best of 2021 Awards
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
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.
Best wearable: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
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.
Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
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.
Best laptop: Apple MacBook Pro (M1 Pro)
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
Best headphones: Sony WF-1000XM4
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.
Best smart home product: Roborock S7
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.
Best streaming device: Roku Streaming Stick 4K
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.
Best accessory: Anker Powerport III 25W
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.
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!