Every year, we write millions of words about thousands of products, covering everything from free phone apps to blinged-out gaming PCs that can cost as much as used cars. We’re fairly selective in what we choose to review, so, after our assessments, most of those products end up being worthy of our recommendation. On one end of the spectrum, there are always a few stinkers you shouldn’t buy, and at the other end are the top performers, the undeniable values, the trendsetters.
For 2019, you’ll see some consistency across certain categories (who do you think is going to win best iOS phone?) along with some newcomers. As technology evolves, we swap in interesting new classifications and retire the ones that are past their prime. Not long ago, for example, we wouldn’t have had any smart home products in this story. Now we’ve got nine of them.
The list was compiled from every product we’ve reviewed between November 1, 2018, through last week. Eight of those 103 earn a perfect 5-star rating; while the rest of them get away with being merely excellent beyond our expectations.
So this is it: The essential holiday shopping list compiled by our editors who know the products, know the market, and know what’s the best smartwatch for your wife, what to get your Pokemon-obsessed kid, and even the perfect gift for you.