It has been a long week here at CES and gadget arrived in Lag Vegas back on Friday last week and since we might not even be done yet after seeing as much of a sprawling tech show as we could. We are finally ready to reveal our picks for the official best of CES 2020 gadgets.
This is best known for its simple but classy fitness watches and so it makes sense. That is when winning the best digital health and fitness category is for one deceptively simple product. The ScanWatch looks like a classic analog timepiece, but on the backside, or not one but two optical sensors, one for ECG testing, which has become near-standard on newer smartwatches and one for detecting sleep apnea. We don’t often hear about gadgets that claim to detect signs of sleep apnea, but it’s a common problem, one that could lead to various other potentially fatal conditions. To do this, the ScanWatch monitors blood oxygen levels using that optical sensor. In addition, it does basic step and sports tracking plus smartphone notifications and the battery life is rated for an impressive 30 days.
Think of HydraLoop as a household water recycler, wastewater from the bathtub and other sources goes in clean water to flush toilets that come back in that can recycle some 85% of the water used at home, reducing water consumption by 45% according to the company. It’s not cheap at $4,000 but the unit has the advantage of being a set and forget device. Knowing where we have taken with HydraLoop’s mission, but as a startup, it’s business model also makes sense. It mainly needs to convince homeowners that a water recycling system is worth the investment. We think it has a shot.
Olive Union Smart Ear
It wasn’t winnings that one the best wearable category, it was actually another hearing device – The Olive Union Smart Year. We chose a smart ear both for its discrete design and the fact that it offers hearing enhancement for way less money than a traditional hearing aid factor and additional features like Bluetooth streaming and call handling, and you have one versatile wearable, especially at this $249 price.
Dolby Vision IQ technology
When it comes to video quality, Dolby Vision, HDR already stands out as a benchmark for incredible experiences that are delivered on disc or via streaming IQ takes that effort even further, allowing your TV to optimize the experience based on in-room lighting conditions. While we’d all love to watch movies in a dark home theater environment, the realities of living rooms and household lighting setups mean that you can’t always control the situation the way you’d like any technology.
Pick the flagship quality phone, the five 5G devices, the Chromebook, the sustainable phone with a four-year warranty. In the end, we voted for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite. It offers many of the amenities of the Galaxy. Note 10 with very few compromises and a much more palatable price of all the nominees in the mobile category. This is the one we’d recommend our friends and family if they were in the market for a new device.
Moving on, it would not be CES without shiny new televisions. For the past few years, LG CX OLED’s have trounced every other TV we’ve seen at CES. Thanks to the display technologies, enormous benefits over traditional LCD panels. You’ll still get incredible contrast in black levels with LG’s 2020 lineup. But they also include NVIDIA’s G Sync Technology which smooths out gameplay and reduces image artifacts.
Best Gaming Product
In the best gaming category. We gave top honors to the Razor Kishi. It’s a proper controller cradle for iPhones and select Android devices. Two thumbsticks, a directional pad, ABXY buttons, and four shoulder buttons. Basically it turns your phone into a switch style handheld. Unlike the Razor Jungle Cat which relied on Bluetooth, the Kishi goes straight into your smartphones, USB-C or lightning port. Lower latency should help in competitive games like Fortnite and when you’re streaming for services for X-cloud and Stadia.
Best Electric Car
We always expect Sony to launch a wide variety of products to see us, but a car colors us surprised. The company literally rolled out its Sony Vision-S concept car on stage and it’s CES press conference. All told it has 33 sensors across the interior and exterior of the car with three 60 reality audio capabilities and space for four passengers. While the car is unlikely to find its way onto roads, it serves as a showcase for how committed Sony is to transportation tech.
You might not think a camera could qualify for our best sports tech category, but what if it were a camera designed to be used on the move in tricky environments? Insta 360 has a lot of experience in making 360-degree cabs. Now the company has built a Modular Action camera. The Modular include an extra battery, a 4k wide-angle lens and more.
Best Laptop in CES
The winning pick in the PC race is actually the product that’s had several years to mature. Dell’s XPS 13 one it’s the first best-of CES award when it first debuted back in 2015. The Dell XPS 13 yet another best of the award this time for the 2020 edition. The newest XPS 13 has a taller 16:10 aspect ratio display, which we find more convenient to use. It also brings even thinner bezels particularly at the bottom of the screen making it look like the display is rising out of the keyboard. This new design puts it in line with Dell’s existing XPS 13 two in one which came out last year in which we praised for having a sleeker look than the clamshell model.
Best Accessibility Tech
It was a tough call, but we went with the Phonak Virtru Black and a discreet hearing aid that takes the form of wireless earbuds. This device does indeed do an effective job in answering once hearing. In addition to the hearing correction, the device is actually quite versatile with Bluetooth streaming call handling and an accessory for quote distance hearing. All told it has the potential to enhance someone’s life beyond its primary purpose, which really is what all good technology should do.
Best Robot or Drone
Zero Robotics got our attention to the V-Copter Falcon. This drone boasts an impressive flight time of 50 minutes. Thus setting a new industry benchmark. The V-Copter Falcon also benefits from a three-axis gimbal for stable four video footage along with a seven-kilometer transmission range and an extra pair of eyes for obstacle plus clever auto-follow features for easy cinematic shots.
Congrats to all of our winners and nominees, and thank you all for staying with us. Let’s do it all again next year.