T3 Awards at 10: best gadgets of the decade

A look back on the top tech that took home our prestigious Gadget of the Year award

The T3 Awards are nearly upon us. That’s right, it’s the time of year when phones, games, TVs, streaming services, laptops, cameras, audio equipment, and everything else from the world of gadgets and tech gets rated by the people and the winners are decided.

2016 has been a big year for technology so far and will continue to be so going into the autumn. Apple is rumoured to be having an event for a new set of iPhones—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what is coming up.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the T3 Awards, we’ve decided to look back at the kind of gadgets that won before.

2014: Sony PlayStation 4

Sony’s PlayStation 4 was the winner in 2014, beating out competition from Microsoft with the Xbox One. The PS4 can be seen as a watershed moment for Sony, and gamers in general, as the company finally overtook its long-time rival.

A combination of low price, excellent hardware, and a plethora of games was enough to attract millions of customers off the bat. Microsoft has made some progress with Xbox over the past two years—including announcing a new model—but the PS4 is still king in gamer-land.

2013: HTC One

HTC went from superstar to also-ran in just a few years, but that didn’t stop the company making great phones, which is why the HTC One won the 2013 awards, beating out both Samsung and Apple’s offerings. The One was a big moment for HTC as sales dwindled in the face of tough competition in Asia from cheap and cheerful manufactures and in the U.S.A and Europe from Apple and Samsung. Despite the climate, the company delivered the best smartphone of the year.

With a big, beautiful screen, powerful hardware, and a lightly skinned version of Android, the One was set-up to be a success and it even managed to bring HTC out of the mire, at least for a time.

2012: Google Nexus 7

The winner of the 2012 T3 Awards was Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, which helped propel Android into a heated competition with Apple’s iPad. In fact, a few years later, Apple started to manufacture a smaller tablet, just like the 7.

While the hardware is now a little outdated, the Nexus 7 was a trailblazer for the smaller, compact tablet that has become a stable in many people’s lives. The device was also a huge boost for the Nexus brand, which has consistently flagged among a non-tech- centric audience when compared to the iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy line.

2008: iPod Touch

It’s hard to remember now but way-back- when in 2008 having a smartphone was not a mainstream phenomena. Instead, many people had MP3 players for music, a phone for calling, and a laptop or desktop for emails, the web, and so on.

Apple decided to try and combine the latter two into the iPod Touch with great success, which is why the device won the T3 Award in 2008, a year after the original iPhone’s release. The Touch, which is still available, was essentially an iPhone without the phone aspect—which meant no contracts—and brought a chunk of people onto iOS.

Many people fondly remember the Touch as their first handheld computer and it’s ease of use, relatively cheap price, and beautiful design most likely contributed to the success of the iPhone today.

So, who is competing for the award this year?

This year’s contenders for best gadget include the Oculus Rift, iPhone 6S, Microsoft Surface Book, and HTC Vive. Be sure to go and vote now to help decide the winner.