Millions of homes now contain a smart assistant speaker of some variety and sales of IoT products continue to grow as the market matures and prices come down across the sector. With so many options available, it's hard to know what to buy, and that's where we come in — this is a selection of our favorite smart home gadgets. Whether you want to just dip your toes in the water with a cheap Google Nest Mini or dive into the deep end with smart lights, cameras, thermostats, doorbells, and so on — we’ve got you covered.
As the true wireless earbud market has matured, we've reached a point where we now have a lot of good quality options even at lower price points — they're no longer just an expensive toy for early adopters. Anyone can pick up an affordable pair of TWEs these days and expect half-decent sound quality as well as a few useful extra features. We've reviewed quite a few of these over the years and are therefore able to help you decide which pair is right for you. These are our favorite options in the 'less than $50' and 'less than $100' price brackets.
After a fair bit of discussion, we've decided that if there's one manufacturer in 2016 that stepped up its game across the board, it's HTC. And, of course, we think that step up was embodied in the HTC 10.
HTC has gone through something of a rough patch since its release of the One M7 back in 2013. The M8 and M9 were nowhere near as highly-regarded, and the stale design language of the phones left many fans and critics thinking HTC had lost its way. The One M9, in particular, seemed a low point. It had a mediocre display, subpar camera, middling battery life, and didn't even feature a fingerprint scanner.
The budget smartphone segment in America seems to be a shrinking one of late (well, at least of good options), but we've rounded up the best we think the market has to offer consumers right now in the $250-and-under segment. The selected phones are presented in no particular order.
The mid-range smartphone segment is a highly competitive one these days, and one that is seeing its price boundaries ever-expanded in the quest to reach the perfect equilibrium of specifications to dollar. 2016 saw the release of what we think are five truly exceptional mid-range devices in the United States: these phones put their money where their mouth is. Devices in this category must be priced at retail under $500, but over $250 (sub-$250 qualifies for our "budget" category). Our picks for "Top Mid-Range Smartphone" are presented below, in no particular order.
In an internal poll of the Android Police staff, the Google Pixel has won overwhelmingly as our choice for smartphone of the year.
As I pick up my Google Pixel XL, nestled in its artwork Live Case (which, annoyingly, is cracking), I don't find myself missing much. I don't miss the almost artful curves and subtle refinement of the Galaxy Note7, the vast display canvas of LG's V20, or the Moto Z's... whatever. The Pixel XL just seems right, and if you were to ask me to give it up for any other smartphone today, I'd politely decline: this, for now, is as good as it gets.
The end of the year has arrived, and it's time to make our picks for the phones that represented the best of what the [Android] smartphone industry had to offer in 2016. Without further ado, here are the recipients of the Android Police Most-Wanted award in 2016 for "Top Smartphone," in no particular order.