WIRED Recommends is our definitive guide to the best gadgets, gear and new products. This list covers our number one picks for every category we’ve tested so far, and links to the new and noteworthy tech we’ve seen and reviewed this month. You can head to our dedicated guides for more idea and options.
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The headphones: Sony WH-1000XM3
Weight: 255g | Battery life: 30 hours | Noise cancelling: Yes
Our recommendation for both the best headphones overall and our top-rated noise cancelling headphones is still one and the same: the Sony WH-1000XM3 (£269). In short, we really approve of these cans. Sony wins on sound quality and design, with touch controls on the right earcup that work beautifully and a battery life that lasts up to 30 hours. With USB-C rapid charging and excellent wireless sound performance, these superstars are worth every penny.
The laptop: Dell XPS 13 (2019)
Weight: 1.2kg | Battery life: 21 hours | Screen: 13.3-inch 1080p/4K
The Dell XPS 13 (from £1,199) is the definitive MacBook-killer. This 13-inch laptop is slim and light yet is powerful enough to deal with a heavy workload. There are numerous configuration options, including non-glare screens, Full HD or UHD and touchscreen versions. The tiny screen bezel means it has a very small footprint, making it easy to fit in any bag and this 2019 edition comes with the webcam thankfully now positioned above the display. The 2020 model is in testing and goes on sale February 4.
The smartphone: Apple iPhone 11
Screen: 6.1-inch LCD | Battery life: 10 hours | Cameras: 12MP wide, ultra-wide
The iPhone 11 (£699) – not the higher specced 11 Pro – is our first choice because it’s hundreds of pounds cheaper than its Pro siblings and still gives you a high quality camera, the same processor, a fairly large screen and longer battery life than previous iPhones. This is the iPhone that could convince plenty of Android loyalists to switch with great cameras, power and performance.
Price: £699 | Check price on Apple
The Bluetooth speaker: UE Megaboom 3
Weight: 925g | Battery life: 20 hours | Waterproof: IP67
The genuinely fantastic UE Megaboom 3 (£121) is our top pick from all the Bluetooth speakers we’ve tested. It balances features, sound quality and value better than any of its rivals with an impressive 20 hour battery life and the ability to stereo pair and daisy chain with other UE speakers.
The fitness tracker: Fitbit Alta HR
Weight: 23g | Battery life: 7 days | Sensors: Optical HR
If you don’t have a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Alta HR (£80) is a great place to start. Unlike a smartwatch, the battery lasts a whole week and the slim and discreet band houses plenty of tech. It tracks steps, calories burned, sleep and heart rate, includes extras like hourly mini goals and comes in six colours with accessory bands sold separately. The only downside is it’s not waterproof.
The tablet: Apple iPad Air
Screen: 10.5-inch | Battery life: 10 hours | Weight: 456g
We love the iPad Pro, but for most people the revived iPad Air (£479) is the best choice. The timeless design remains, as does the high-resolution screen, intuitive software and huge collection of apps. No platform can compete when it comes to apps designed specifically for tablets. This 2019 edition is compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard, giving you a capable laptop alternative, and there’s support for the (first gen) Apple Pencil, too.
The running watch: Polar Vantage V
Specs: GPS, HR | Battery life: 40 hours | Water resistance: 50m
Polar’s Vantage V (£331) is the most complete running watch you can buy. It tracks running power in addition to GPS and heart rate and offers genuinely valuable recovery insights for runners who are pursuing performance. Stylishly built, with sleep tracking and phone notifications, the Vantage V lasts 40 hours on one charge.
The 4K TV: Panasonic TX-55GZ2000
Display: 55inch 4K OLED | Smarts: My Home Screen | Connections: HDMI 2.0 x4, USB, Wi-Fi
This 55-inch OLED is the best TV you can buy right now. Panasonic’s no compromise approach to picture quality is evident in the bespoke panels and HCX Pro Intelligent processing of the GZ2000 (£2,499). The result? The most accurate picture this side of a £30K monitor and lower quality content that looks terrific too. With a simple but intuitive smart TV system and Dolby Atmos sound, it’s hard to fault.
The gaming laptop: MSI GE75 Raider 9SF
Screen: 17.3-inch 1080p | GPU: RTX 2070 | Storage: 512GB SSD + 1TB
The MSI GE75 Raider 9SF (£2,200) offers fantastic all-round performance and a vibrant 17.3-inch diagonal display. It runs on a Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics core that’s capable of handling everything from demanding esports titles to single player games beyond 100fps, it’s quieter than rivals and the good, chiclet keyboard is also a nice surprise.
The wireless speakers: Sonos
Voice: Alexa, Google | Wi-Fi: Yes | Apple AirPlay: Yes
Painless to operate and with a range of comprehensive kit, Sonos (from £199) still offers the best pound-for-pound wireless, multi-room system around. The user experience is smooth and stable, there’s a wide product range, including subs and amps, together with AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect etc (though no hi-res audio) and an up-and-at-’em sound. If you need somewhere to start we’d recommend the voice controlled and good value Sonos One. (The recent controversy over support for legacy products has been smoothed over to an extent but we’ll be keeping an eye on it).
The coffee machine: Jura S8
Water capacity: 1.9L | Pressure: 15 bar | Settings: 15
The stylish Jura S8 (£1,400) has an ample coffee selection – latte macchiato, flat white, espresso, ristretto and more – and it’s great for green tea drinkers too. Operate via a high-res touchscreen or the Jura Coffee app. plus adjust the AromaG3 grinder to your preferences by altering how fine you have your coffee powder. Worth every penny.
The electric toothbrush: Philips Sonicare Smart 9500
Sure it’s expensive and the app could be slight overkill for some but if money is no object, this is the electric toothbrush to go for. With five cleaning modes, four brush heads and three intensity settings the Philips Sonicare Smart 9500 (£226) is highly customisable and aside from the superb clean you’ll get, the battery life of 14 days is handy and we’re fans of the glass charging stand and travel case too.
Price: £226 | Check price on Amazon
The vacuum cleaner: Dyson V11 Absolute
Run time: 60 mins | Weight: 3kg | Bagged or bagless? Bagless
You won’t be disappointed by the Dyson Cyclone V11 (£595), if your budget will stretch. With three power levels, it offers the same performance, in terms of suction, as a full-size vacuum. It’s great for stairs and with two floorheads, four additional tools and auto detection, the Dyson handles edge to edge cleaning like a champ.
The baby monitor: Kodak Cherish C525
Video: 720p HD | Two-way talk: Yes | Alerts: Sound, motion
With a 5in display for the parent unit and a video feed in the Kodak Smart Home app, infrared night vision and two-way talk, Kodak’s Cherish C525 (£150) is our preferred baby monitor system. Response time for sound and motion alerts is good and the HD camera is sharp with a 85-degree viewing angle. Range is up to 4,000 square feet and you can save footage to an SD card as well as the cloud.