By T3 Online Last updated
The T3 Awards are over for another year and it's been another momentous night down at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Hall in London. In case you missed one or more of the announcements, we've rounded up the whole story for you.
Over the past 10 years we're proud to say the T3 Awards has become one of the most anticipated award shows of the year in the tech industry - and it's sometimes referred to as "the Oscars of tech", even by people who don't work here!
Read on for all the winners and highly commended runners-up for 2016, in the order they were presented.
Camera of the Year - Sony A7R II
All hail the Sony A7R II - a Compact System Camera that is well worth the upgrade from your smartphone and gives you excellent value for money even at this top-level ticket price (you can pick it up online for between £2,000-3,000).
What impressed us about the A7R II beyond its stupendous 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor was its compact, weather-sealed body, its video capabilities, and its photo performance in both portrait and landscape modes. A worthy winner, presented in partnership with The Photography Show.
We should give a special mention to the highly commended Nikon D500, another camera that's well worth your consideration.
Design of the Year - Aston Martin DB11
Take one look at the Aston Martin DB11 and you know why it's won the Design of the Year Award sponsored by Kodak - this is a gorgeous-looking car and one that's likely to turn every head on the street even before it starts moving.
The insides of the motor shouldn't disappoint either, with 600 bhp at your disposal, 700 Nm of torque to play around with and an eight-speed auto box. We're not sure if Daniel Craig has been offered one yet, but he's unlikely to turn it down.
Doing enough to earn a highly commended mention was the Dyson Supersonic, proof that hair dryers really can look beautiful.
Audio product of the Year - Naim Mu-so Qb
There's a lot to like about the Naim Mu-so Qb speaker cube - so much in fact that it's blasted its way to winning our Audio Product of the Year Award, in a category with some strong competition from the likes of Sonos and Bang & Olufsen.
In our review of the streaming speaker we highlighted two key features: superb sound quality and wide-ranging connectivity options (from Airplay to Spotify), both essential in a product like this.
It's cheaper than the original Mu-so (which also won a T3 award) and it sounds even better, so is a clear winner for us.
Editors' Choice Award - Ring
And so to our brand new Editor's Choice Award, which goes to Ring - the smart doorbell, not the Japanese horror film. And it's well-deserved too.
The new award is intended to highlight a great bit of kit produced by the tech industry here in the UK and on sale for less than £500. We were looking for something that offered winning value, or gave a new twist to an old idea, or added strength to a tired category.
Ring ticks just about every box for a top-notch gadget and lets you effortlessly make video calls with someone at the door over your phone from wherever you happen to be. It doubles as a motion detector too.
Tech Personality of the Year - Will. i. Am
The Tech Personality of the Year Award, presented in partnership with Digital Spy, has honoured some rather well-known celebrities down the years, including geek icon Richard Ayoade and the smoothly charming Spencer Kelly.
This year, the accolade goes to Mr Will. i. am, a man who dabbles in music recording and producing as well as tech. He's responsible for one of the boldest-looking wearable smartwatches we've seen this year and has some Bluetooth headphones to his name too.
The guy is obviously keen to make as big a splash in tech as he has in music and he's off to a good start.
Gaming Product of the Year - HTC Vive
Virtual reality has been one of the breakthrough technologies of 2016 and gaming is where it's making the most waves, and so it's no surprise that the HTC Vive has been awarded Gaming Product of the Year in partnership with GamesRadar+.
For the first time in a long time we have a genuinely new way to play games - and the Vive offers full room tracking and excellent performance, and also managed to ship with its controllers from day one (unlucky, Oculus Rift).
Anyone who tries the HTC Vive is blown away by it, and so were we.
Wearable of the Year - Samsung Gear S2
With the Gear S3 arriving just too late for this year's awards, the Wearable of the Year gong goes to the Samsung Gear S2 - the best smartwatch that's not an Apple Watch and one that should have Google worried.
It's the simple things with the Gear S2: that revolving circular bezel, for example, or the straightforward Tizen OS that keeps important information front and centre. It's also more compact than the recent follow-up.
When people look back on the early history of smartwatches, we think the Gear S2 is likely to get a mention.
Car of the Year - Tesla Model X
Not content with moving us all to Mars, Elon Musk is also busy revolutionising the motor industry through Tesla, and the Model X is the company's boldest move yet.
It's not just the way it moves or the way it looks - though top marks for both, Tesla - it's also about the amount of tech that's been packed into the Model X, offering a glimpse of the future of driving today. And when the self-driving capabilities become more advanced and legal, there'll be even more reasons to buy one.
A highly commended mention to the also excellent Jaguar F-Pace, the first SUV from the company.
Streaming service of the Year - Now TV
Kudos to Sky for giving us another way to tune in via the Now TV box, which picks up our Streaming Service of the Year Award for offering no-frills access to premium channels.
You don't get all of the extras you do with a proper Sky box (like video recording or 4K content) but it works beautifully over the web and is completely hassle-free. You can even buy day passes if you only want to watch one or two big games on Sky Sports.
Netflix gets a highly commended mention this year - another service that seizes the opportunity of streaming video and is so brilliant because it's so simple.
Laptop of the Year - Microsoft Surface Book
A lot of eyebrows were raised and a lot of jaws hit the floor when Microsoft launched its first own-brand laptop, and the Surface Book has impressed us enough since then to earn the Laptop of the Year Award.
You can tell that this is Microsoft's attempt to show its hardware partners how it should be done in the Windows 10 era - that clever hinge, that detachable screen... power and portability together in one complete computer.
Yes, there were issues with it, but it was a brave step forward by the Redmond company, and we're already excited about Surface Book 2.
Tech Legend - Jimmy Wales
Our Tech Legend Award is intended to honour the very best people in tech, those who are busy innovating and pioneering while everyone else just copies the same old format.
This year we're pleased to give the award to Jimmy Wales, perhaps best known for starting Wikipedia but still actively dedicated to the promotion of the free sharing of ideas and information across the internet.
Think about how many times you've used Wikipedia in the past week - and don't forget to thank Jimmy Wales the next time you see him.
Gadget of the Decade - Apple iPhone
The Apple iPhone is really the only choice for our Gadget of the Decade Award, presented in partnership with The Sun in honour of the T3 Awards turning ten this year.
It completely changed the smartphone landscape, bringing touchscreens and iPod-style intuitiveness to a market previously dominated by BlackBerry and Nokia. The first iPhone couldn't run third-party apps, but Apple got in first there as well. The iPhone set the foundations for the smartphones we use today.
No wonder Apple has been reluctant to change it all that much since 2007.
TV of the Year - Sony XD93
In such a busy market, a television set really has to do something special to stand out. Enter the Sony XD93, the T3 TV of the Year.
It looks great even before you switch it on, but power it up and the 4K and HDR technologies create an image that's impossible to beat at the moment. Brightness, contrast, motion... this is a TV set that scores highly in every department.
There's not a lot of 4K content around at the moment but if you want to see the future in the best way possible the XD93 is worth a spot on your shortlist.
Connected Home Tech of the Year - Dyson Pure Cool Link
There are plenty of products in the connected home space but very few that stand out as much as the Dyson Pure Cool Link air purifier does, and we're pleased to give it the Connected Home Tech of the Year Award for 2016.
It sucks ""99.95% of allergens, odours and pollutants" out of the air in the room, and if you need a cooling fan during those hot summer months, well it can do that too. You can even monitor (though not operate) the device through your smartphone.
With both desktop and tower models available, this is how all connected home kit should be.
Innovation of the Year - HTC Vive
It's so good, we gave it two awards - as well as picking up Gaming Product of the Year, the HTC Vive also wins our Innovation of the Year Award, sponsored by Hive.
While Oculus may have attracted the early buzz as far as VR headsets are concerned, HTC and Valve took it a step further with the Vive, creating a system that gives gamers the freedom to move around the room rather than stick to a chair.
It's a polished, high-performance look at the future of technology, and just about the most innovative gadget we've seen in 2016.
Phone of the Year - Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
It's not been the most groundbreaking year for smartphones but we've still seen some amazing handsets - and chief among them the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, our Phone of the Year in partnership with TechRadar.
With superb looks and build quality, excellent camera, and of course those rounded edges, the S7 Edge has enough about it to knock the iPhone off its perch. It's pretty much the best smartphone you can go out and buy today.
And that's before you get to its easy integration with the Gear VR...
Outstanding Contribution - Eben Upton
The Raspberry Pi is a real British success story and one that's got many of us busy learning coding and building all kinds of DIY tech kit - so all credit to Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton, who wins our Outstanding Contribution of the Year Award.
Not only does Eben know his technology, he can make it accessible and interesting for everyone else, which is how a small microboard that fits in your hand became one of the most successful gadgets of our generation.
It's hard to imagine life without the Pi now and there's plenty more to come.
Brand of the Year - Samsung
It's been having problems with its Note 7 of late, but everyone is allowed a misstep or two, and our Brand of the Year is Samsung for a resurgent 2016.
It was a year packed with great products, including smartphones, smartwatches, televisions and fridges, and Samsung showed it is possible to come back from a disappointing year to rise again.
We should also mention its work in VR with Oculus and Facebook - a sign that the company is eager to keep pushing the boundaries of technology through into 2017 and beyond.
Hall of Fame - Android
After the Sony Playstation and Microsoft Windows in previous years, Android earns its place in our Hall of Fame with the 2016 award.
Android has gone from rather sketchy beginnings to a powerhouse of an operating system that runs across phones, set-top boxes, watches, tablets and more besides. It's customisable, it's backed by a huge app store, and it shows no signs of slowing down having recently made the jump to Chromebooks too.
Thanks to the Material Design aesthetic, Android now looks the part too. We can't wait to see where it goes next.
Gadget of the Year - HTC Vive
Did we say two awards for the HTC Vive? Because we actually meant three. When you're the best gaming gadget of the year, and the most innovative device of the year, then it's a good bet you're going to be named the Gadget of the Year too, sponsored by EE.
We've already waxed lyrical about the HTC Vive in previous categories, so we'll just say this: save up and buy one as soon as possible. And don't forget a new gaming PC too.
2016 was another strong year for gadgets and we had a difficult choice on our hands. Highly commended nods go to Sky Q and the Apple iPad Pro for really impressing us over the last 12 months too.