When it comes to the latest tech releases, the coolest gadgets will always stop you in your tracks. You find yourself wanting them all even if you suspect you don’t absolutely need them. Still, it’s nice to treat yourself from time to time, and the best gadgets really can make your life easier.
And with our list of the coolest tech gadgets of 2023, we sought to find devices that fit this bill. Maybe they’re not as essential to your day-to-day life as a smartphone or a laptop, but they’re the products you lust after; they’re the ones you end up blowing your tax refund on.
Whether that’s a new gaming console — like the Nintendo Switch OLED — a VR headset like the Oculus Quest Pro or a new screen-less dash cam from security camera maker Ring, these products are the statement items you’ll tell your friends about or show off whenever you have people visiting. They’re the kinds of next-gen gadgets that early adopters will wait in line for all night long.
How We Chose the Coolest Tech Gadgets
We love our gadgets, so it’s no surprise we spend a lot of time covering the latest and greatest in the tech space. So far this year, we’ve published dozens of first-look articles that give SPY readers their first glimpses of yet-to-be-released gadgets from brands like Samsung, Anker, Apple, Lenovo and SteelSeries. In addition, SPY’s product reviewers have tested hundreds of gadgets already in 2023, and we’ve published in-depth guides to the latest tech, including flagship smartphones, Bluetooth sunglasses, and portable power stations.
Normally, when our editors are evaluating a product category, we come up with strict criteria and compare the top options side-by-side, giving each product a score based on how it performs on certain tests. In the end, we’ll have an objective ranking of the top products. However, there’s no objective way to determine the “coolest” product, and so for our guide to the coolest gadgets of the year, we relied more on our personal preferences.
We’ve played around with many cool gadgets in 2022, but the one that really stands out the most is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2). After some growing pains with its first-gen foldable laptop, Lenovo’s made significant improvements with its successor. The 2nd generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold feels like a more polished product, evident in how there’s barely any gaps when its ginormous 16.3-inch OLED display is folded over.
What we’re really stoked about is the many form factors it can offer to users. Sure, it’s like a tablet when it’s opened up, but it can be arranged to act like your standard laptop — thanks to the included ThinkPad keyboard that attaches to it. For those looking for that desktop experience on the go, you’ll relish over how you can use its massive screen unfolded in portrait or landscape to see more of the apps you’re working with.
It’s truly a peek at what the next generation of computing will be like. Luckily it’s coming out soon this fall for you to experience firsthand.
iRobot Roomba Combo j7+
Coolest Feature: The mopping pad will automatically raise when it goes over carpet.
First Look: iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Perfects the 2-in-1 Vacuum and Mop Design
You’ll notice a trend as you continue to read our guide on the coolest tech gadgets. Robots make a frequent appearance here and iRobot’s Roomba Combo j7+ is one with tons of utility. Like really, robots are supposed to work for us — and make our lives easier!
The Roomba Combo j7+ is the first robot vacuum in iRobot’s long history to vacuum and mop. We all know that these 2-in-1 combos have been around for some time, but even though iRobot is just offering its first model, it’s ahead of the curve because of the meticulous design behind its implementation. What’s really cool is how it’ll vacuum and mop all in one pass, as opposed to doing the two separately. That’s because its mopping plate actually moves to get it out of the way when it goes over carpet.
We also love how it uses specialized cleaning solution to clean hard floors, whereas other combo robot vacuums simply use water. Pair this with its class-leading obstacle avoidance and sleek self-empty bin, the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ does a lot more than meets the eye.
Ring Car Cam
Coolest Feature: LTE connectivity means you have access to the dash cam 24/7.
First Look: Ring’s New Car Cam Is Unlike Your Traditional Dash Cam
One of the biggest standouts of CES 2023 was the Ring Car Cam. We didn’t expect the veteran security camera maker to tackle the dash cam market, but the company did come up with a gadget that’s unconventional.
What sets it apart is its dual camera screen-less design, which feature LTE connectivity to make it super easy to access all of those clips without the annoyance of connecting to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Secondly, this dash cam doubles as a versatile car alarm with built-in GPS and instant notifications about any shenanigans happening in and around your vehicle.
Twinkly’s known for its line of smart lights for the holidays, like its awesome set of string and curtain lights that all work in conjunction for amazing light effects. Now the company is moving into other lighting categories and the Twinkly Squares are evidence of that. We love these geometric smart lights, which have already earned a spot among the heavy hitters in our guide to the coolest tech gadgets.
Not only do these square panels lights up in different colors to set the mood, but they can also be used to display your favorite animations and gifs. When they’re connected to one another, they make this neat pixel artwork for your wall — which can be controlled and edited through the Twinkly app.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Coolest Feature: 100x space zoom lens lets you get very close to your subject.
Review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Is The Flagship To Beat — For Now
The first true flagship phone to beat for 2022 is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Armed with all the iterative improvements that make it one of the best smartphones to buy right now, Samsung brought back the S Pen stylus. It was a beloved feature with Samsung’s Galaxy Note series, so its return brings back that pen-to-paper experience.
It’s also a beast when it comes to capturing photos and videos with its quadruple camera system, offering excellent image quality and low-light performance. You’ll have plenty of versatility with this package because you can get very close with its 100x space zoom telephoto lens.
Anker Soundcore Frames
Coolest Feature: Swap the frames to match your style.
Review: We Tried Out Anker’s Soundcore Bluetooth Sunglasses – Are They Worth $200?
Wearable audio is the new tech trend. Bose may have set things off with their surprisingly good Bluetooth sunglasses (aka Bose Frames), but Anker has learned from its mistakes to put out a best-in-class product. The Soundcore Frames have speakers integrated into the temple that deliver impressive audio to your ear, which you can customize via EQ settings in the companion app.
It supports touch and voice controls, letting you control music manually and execute tasks on your mobile device with the aid of Siri or Google Assistant. In addition, Anker sells these audio frames in various styles to match your fashion taste.
Coolest Feature: Never worry about the camera angles because you can change adjust the framing in post.
First Look: The Insta360 X3 Has Magic-Like AI Editing Features for Capturing the Perfect Video
When you’re enjoying the moment, the last thing you need to worry about it making sure your camera’s properly framed. The Insta360 X3 eliminates the worry thanks to its shoot now, worry later shooting experience.
Whether you’re a vlogger capturing the sights and scenes of your vacation, or an athlete competing in a race, the Insta360 X3 is the only action camera that can keep your footage stabilized perfectly. Since it records 360-degree footage, you can easily adjust the framing later on to get the perfect video.
Coolest Feature: It will automatically adjust colors based on the color of the surface.
Review: Meet the Swiss Army Knife of Digital Smart Projectors
Few devices are as original as the Samsung Freestyle, introduced during CES 2022. That’s because it’s more than just another projector. For starters, it’s one of the most versatile projectors around with its no-fuss operation — featuring auto image adjustment and color correction. Point and project, it doesn’t get easier than that. Furthermore, it doubles as a powerful smart speaker powered by Samsung’s Bixby and Amazon Alexa. Throw in some fancy smart lighting modes into the fold, and the Samsung Freestyle is a projector like no other before it.
Meta Quest Pro
Coolest Feature: People can see your facial expressions thanks to new sensors in the headset.
First Look: The Meta Quest Pro is a Work-Focused VR Headset
The Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset has long been a fan favorite, but Meta’s next-generation headset aims to make a huge leap. Sure, gaming will certainly continue to be a focal point of the new headset, but the Meta Quest Pro is tackling the way we work and interact with others through new experiences such as eye tracking, improved sensors for depth and spatial tracking, increased pixel density, and brand new collaboration tools. Even more impressive is how it’ll be used as a productivity device for remote collaboration in virtual reality with more realistic avatars, white board tools, and even a way to one day replace your computers and monitors.
We do wish the new Meta VR headset was a little more affordable, but with big implications for the future of productivity, it’s easily one of the coolest tech gadgets released in 2022.
Amazon Astro Household Robot
Coolest Feature: There’s a telescoping camera that can be used to see over counters and furniture.
Read More: Amazon Is Bringing Back a Whole New Line of Household Robots
In late 2021, Amazon announced a trio of new household robots during a live virtual event. Unfortunately for early adopters eager to get their hands on the coolest tech gadgets of 2022, these bots are still only available by invitation and not to the general public. However, you can apply to receive one of the first-ever units through Amazon’s Day 1 Editions program. Our favorite robot of the lot is the Astro, an anthropomorphized household assistant that can move freely around your home to keep an eye on things. Treat it like a pet or use it as a security drone; the choice is up to you. Either way, we hope it’s a sign that more household robots will soon be available to the average person.
Head to Amazon to request an invitation to be one of the first people to own the Amazon Astro robot.
Coolest Feature: It mimics the actions of the motion controller.
Read More: I’ve Tested a Lot of Drones, and I’ve Learned that Small Drones Are Always the Most Fun
DJI has been relentless with announcing new drones, but its latest one is by far one of its more original products. The DJI Avata aims to bridge that gap between traditional drone flyers and those that prefer the action-oriented functions of FPV (first-person view) drones. With the Avata, it’s arguably the most user-friendly FPV drone with its propeller guards, simple control with its motion controller, and reliable connectivity with the DJI Goggle 2. You’ll feel like you’re literally flying through the clouds with this setup.
Amazon Kindle Scribe
Coolest Feature: It’s everyone’s favorite e-book reader, but now it can double as a notebook for writing.
First Look: Amazon Kindle Scribe Gives Users That Pen Meets Paper Experience
Anyone that’s used an Amazon Kindle knows how handy they are for reading. However, the Amazon Kindle Scribe takes the next evolutionary leap by adding a bit of productivity with that paper meets pen experience. Not only does it feature a large 10.2-inch 300 ppo (pixels per inch) display, but it comes included with a pen that can be used to jot down notes, draw, and even edit documents such as PDFs and word documents. Why carry a heavy notebook when you can have everything in a sleek package with the Kindle Scribe?
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Coolest Feature: Run up to three apps simultaneously on one screen.
Review: I Didn’t Think I’d Love Foldable Phones This Much
Samsung’s one of the few companies that have managed to perfect the foldable smartphone design, so it’s no surprise that the latest iteration continues to be a draw. In addition to some of the design improvements on how it folds, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a class on its own and undoubtedly has the credentials of being one of the best smartphones around.
Not only is it a productivity beast with its large 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED Main Screen, thanks to how you can simultaneously display upwards of three apps, but you can connect it to a monitor to gain that true desktop PC experience with Samsung DeX. When you see it in action, you’ll realize much like us why it’s the best foldable phone to beat and one of the coolest tech gadgets of the year.
Amazon Echo Show 15
Coolest Feature: Use post-it notes to share messages with everyone.
Review: The New Amazon Echo Show 15 Is So Much More Than a Smart Display
We first added this smart display to our list of the coolest tech gadgets after its release in early 2022, and it’s still one of the best smart displays and smart home hubs available. Keeping families together is the intention of the Amazon Echo Show 15, which is the company’s largest-sized smart display to date.
Call it a command center of sorts; it’s precisely the kind of device that helps keep household members connected with all the happenings around the home. With its dynamic widgets that deliver relevant information to its lovely 15.6-inch touchscreen panel, the Echo Show 15 craves to be wall mounted in community locations.
Samsung Odyssey Ark
Coolest Feature: Work in vertical mode to display all the apps you need simultaneously.
First Look: The 55-inch Samsung Odyssey Ark Curved Monitor is a Sight to Behold
When it comes to the coolest gadgets, the Samsung Odyssey Ark is one of those devices that doesn’t disappoint. Sure, it’s crazy expensive, but have you ever tried working with a massive 55-inch monitor in vertical mode?
It’s a moment when you realize your productivity potential by having all your apps laid out in perfect side-by-side harmony. Feasting your eyes on its curved display for the very first time will make you a believer.
Apple Watch Ultra
Coolest Feature: Twice as water resistant than any other Apple Watch before it.
First Look: The Apple Watch Ultra Is the Best Surprise From Apple’s Press Event
Anyone that’s used a proper smartwatch knows that they last no more than a day. With the Apple Watch Ultra, it’s taking the best stuff we know about Apple’s previous watches and supercharges it up with a brand new design, superior specs, and added utility. What makes the Apple Watch really cool is that it can last upwards of 36 hours with a single charge. This comes on top of a more premium design with a larger screen and twice the water resistance than previous models.
LG Evo C2 OLED TV
Coolest Feature: Unbelievably vibrant colors that are unmatched in picture quality.
Review: Is the LG C2 Series OLED TV Worth It?
Once you go OLED, it’s hard to go back to anything else you’ve experienced previously. The LG Evo C2 OLED TV has this magical touch that can instantly put anyone in a trance when their eyes feast on its glorious OLED display. Colors are shockingly vibrant, viewing angles are superb, and it can make black look like black — whereas with some other TVs, there’s a milky or grayish tone with black. Beyond the visual experience this top performing OLED TV has to offer, it’s backed by webOS to get you connected to the big three voice assistants.
Sony WH-1000XM5 Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Coolest Feature: Noise cancellation supremacy means distractions are cut out.
Review: Are Sony’s XM5 Noise-Canceling Headphones Still Top Dog?
Specializing in the art of cancelling noise, Sony’s latest pair of over-the-ear headphones receives a sleeker design paired with an even better noise cancelling performance. The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones are chic thanks to the comfy padding around the headband and ear cups, but they’re made better for their ability mute the noise around you.
You really have to hear it, in order to believe Sony’s claim of having the best noise-cancelling headphones. If that’s not enough, we love how it also has a pass-through feature that enhances the sound around you — so you can still hear someone without taking them off.
Fitbit Sense 2
Coolest Feature: Ditch your wallet because you can use Fitbit Pay where mobile payments are accepted.
First Look: Fitbit’s New Product Lineup Includes a New Sense Smartwatch
As much as we love the Apple Watch and its fitness capabilities, Fitbit devices have a more comprehensive health tracking service and better tracking accuracy. They’re also about half the price of Apple’s smartwatch. Products like Fitbit Sense offer the best of both worlds.
It can track stress, temperature, blood oxygen and sleep, while providing smartwatch features like built-in GPS, Google Assistant and the ability to take calls from your wrist. Personalization is another huge selling point, as Fitbit lets users swap out the wristbands to match their style.
Tile Pro (2022)
Coolest Feature: Battery lasts upwards of one year, so you don’t have to worry about nightly charges.
Read More: We Traveled Hundreds of Miles To Test the Best GPS Luggage Trackers
Bluetooth tracking has been an exciting concept for the last decade, but only recently has the technology reached its true potential. Tile turned the idea into a must-have EDC item, helping give consumers a greater sense of where they left their personal items. The company refreshed its entire lineup, led by the exceptional Tile Pro, which boasts a sleeker design that comes with IP67-rated for dust and water resistance.
Tile added new features like the Lost and Found QR code printed on the back that holds contact information, so you can be easily reached once someone scans it. This feature is huge, especially as services like Amazon Sidewalk that promise to keep your smart devices better-connected start to expand their coverage. You won’t have to travel far searching for your house keys if one of these is attached to the key ring.
Coolest Feature: It’s one of the quietest massage guns when it’s operated.
Read More: The 13 Best Massage Guns of 2023
The Theragun has evolved over the past few years. While nothing tops the original, the fourth-gen Theragun Mini is a SPY-favorite massage gun. Fitness buffs going hard at the gym can toss this tiny percussive therapy device into their bag and pull it out during recovery for muscle treatment.
The ergonomic grip makes it easier to hold and reduces strain on the wrists, plus the 150 hours of battery life is more than sufficient to cover your massaging needs for months on end.
Apple iPad (10th Generation)
Coolest Feature: It’s now compatible with the Apple Pencil (1st Gen), making it an inexpensive notebook replacement.
Review: Ten Generations In And Still Going Strong
You could forks thousands for the professional grade Apple iPad Pro, but the 10th Generation Apple iPad got some much-needed boost to make it one of the most functional for the price.
We’re digging the new makeover, complete with fancy colors that make this iPad stylish. Even better is the fact that it received support for the Apple Pencil (1st Gen), which effectively makes it a perfect notebook for professionals and students. This new pen meets paper experience complements its already outstanding feature set as a standalone tablet.
Dyson Pure Cool
Coolest Feature: Bladeless design produces incredible amount of power.
Review: Does the Dyson Pure Cool Fan Justify Its $400 Price Tag?
This isn’t your typical cooling tower fan. This is a high-end purifying machine from Dyson and one of the best gadgets you can get for keeping your home clean, filtered and at a comfortable temperature. It’s equipped with HEPA and activated carbon filters that remove gases and 99.97% of microscopic allergens and airborne particles. It’s got built-in sensors that detect air quality levels in the environment and adjust filtering accordingly.
The Air Multiplier technology delivers 77 gallons of smooth air per second and is designed to circulate it through the entire room. You get complete reports via the Dyson Link app on your filter status and air quality, and changing the filter is quick and easy. If you’re in the market for a top-notch air purifier, this is one of the best.
The Ridge is best known for its minimalist approach to wallets. What makes these wallets one of the coolest gadgets around is their ability to block radio frequency identification signals (RFID), otherwise known as near-field communication (NFC). Because these communications technologies are housed in items like our credit cards and office keycards, hackers have created devices in recent years that can swipe the data from your card when it’s sitting in your pocket. The Ridge’s wallets block these radio frequencies so that hackers cannot access them. This is a massive benefit for anyone who worries about having their identities stolen.
Although this carbon fiber version is the priciest version you can buy, we love the overall look and matte finish. And weighing in at only 1.6 ounces, you won’t find a lighter wallet from The Ridge.
Vintage-inspired vinyl players remain hot commodities in the audio space. While we’ve enjoyed what Victrola has done with its past releases — stuffing a functional record spinner into a suitcase design — we love the modern touches of its latest creation: the Revolution GO. It’s the company’s first battery-powered turntable, generating 12 hours of playtime on a full charge. That’s not even the coolest part. The Revolution Go delivers premium stereo sound via Bluetooth speaker, passive bass radiator and anti-vibration enclosure that keeps records spinning steadily. Close it up, toss the guitar strap around your shoulder and carry it anywhere you want.
Here at SPY, we’re big fans of the best Bluetooth record players, and this portable device made our list of the best Christmas gifts of 2022. One of the coolest gadgets of the year for music lovers, it’s also a great gift to buy yourself.
When it comes to imagination, few could have dreamt up the Nintendo Switch as a concept, let alone predicted the insane levels of success the little console would enjoy. Part-traditional gaming console, part-handheld console, this hybrid device can connect to your TV or exist as a self-contained unit when you’re out of the house. If you’re with a friend, you can detach the Joy-Cons from the unit, and each can function as its own controller. And carrying on the legacy of the Wii, there are even games that make great use of motion controls.
The Xbox and Playstation consoles often had the best and biggest games from developers around the world, and they’ve been at the forefront of game-centric innovation and cutting-edge technology. But not a single feature on those consoles is as fun as the ones you’ll find on the Nintendo Switch. Plus, after years of speculation, Nintendo finally rolled out a significant update to its signature console.
Smart displays are perfect hubs to control other smart home devices, but the Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) goes the extra distance. For starters, it’s ideal for video calls because its 10-inch touchscreen can swivel 360-degrees to ensure it’s always in view of your sight.
Secondly, it packs a rich speaker capable of delivering deep bass in large spaces — perfect for audiophiles who crave power with their music playback. It can also potentially save lives because of the built-in camera that monitors any movement when you’re not at home.
Bluetooth-enabled trackers have been around for a long time; just look at Tile’s line of trackers as an example. However, Apple’s getting plenty of attention for its AirTag, which, much like Tile’s trackers, can help you track down whatever you attach it to.
For the forgetful, which can be any one of us sometimes, the Apple AirTag is an invaluable yet straightforward accessory for anyone constantly misplacing their gear. Apple also makes it a breeze tracking one down because you can tell Siri to find it, and the AirTag proceeds to play a sound to help you.
Ultimate Ears Fits
Full Review: Ultimate Ears Fits Review
Most earbuds stress audio performance more than anything else, often overlooking what others feel is equally critical: the fit. The Ultimate Ears Fits prove it’s one of the most comfortable earbuds around.
Part of that is due to its unique design and custom fit, ensuring that it stays in your ear snugly. You’ll barely feel like you’re wearing them at all. Ultimate Ears also managed to focus on its audio performance, which is backed by strong clarity and deep range.
Coolest Feature: Create 30-second clips that automatically stitch videos for you.
Review: Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses
Today’s smart sunglasses can let you take phone conversations anywhere and listen to your favorite music tracks, but few can capture memorable photos and videos like the Ray-Ban Stories. Flaunting the iconic Wayfarer style for which Ray-Ban is known, this pair of smart sunglasses feature two cameras that give users a unique perspective when it comes to capturing all of life’s moments.
We love that you can instantly record a short video clip by simply pressing a button, which can be edited through the Stories app and uploaded to any of your favorite social media platforms. It’s one of the few wearable cameras that can capture what’s going on without completely taking you out of the moment.
Lenovo ThinkPad X13s
Coolest Feature: It really is one of the few Windows based laptops that offers all-day battery.
Review: The All-Day Battery Life Windows Laptop We’ve Been Waiting For
One of the most highly anticipated Windows 11 laptops expected to come out this year is the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s. We got to check it out firsthand and were smitten by its ultra-portable design, weighing in at a lightweight 2.65 pounds.
You should also know that unlike other laptops powered by Intel or AMD processors, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s uses the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform instead — resulting in a battery life rated up to 28 hours. If you thought eight hours with a standard laptop was great battery life, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s will redefine your expectations.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
Coolest Feature: The robot vacuum will actually get a scrub down when it’s done cleaning.
Review: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
Roborock garnered a lot of attention at CES 2022, where the company debuted its Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra. Not only is it an efficient robot cleaner thanks to its LiDAR-based navigation, but it takes maintenance to a whole new level with its self-emptying and cleaning base station.
This combination robot vacuum and mopper not only will self-empty the contents of its dustbin after cleaning, but it will also scrub down the mopping pads, much like a car going through a car wash. Seriously, there’s barely any upkeep with the Roborock S7 MaxV.
JBL Flip 6
Review: JBL Flip 6 Review
JBL’s Flip line of portable Bluetooth speakers has often been praised, so it should come as no surprise that the latest iteration follows the same path. When it comes to weekend getaways or pool parties, the JBL Flip 6’s portable design makes it a superb choice for the occasion.
With its IP67 water-resistant rating, you’ll love that it can hang poolside without the fear of damage from some light splashes. For its size, you’ll also be astounded by how well it sounds. In fact, we were surprised ourselves to notice how far the sound carries even at mid-level volume.
Speaking of outdoor activities, the Anker 535 Portable Power Station is a companion you’ll appreciate to help power all of your gear. We’ve used it on a few trips already, but we can’t tell you enough how handy it is for unexpected events like power outages or inclement weather. With a total of nine ports — four AC ports, three USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a car outlet — there’s nothing that this portable power station can’t charge. There’s also a handy LED light on the front, which can serve as an ambient source of light for camping. You can even live off the grid and still power this power station using the optional solar panel.
Best of all, it’s still portable enough at under 17 pounds.
Looking for a more heavy-duty power station? The Anker Powerhouse 757 was a close call for inclusion in our guide to the coolest gadgets of 2022, and it’s one of the most powerful power stations available (honestly, it’s too powerful for the average person, which is why we’re going with the 535 models instead).
Apple AirPods Max
Read More: The Best of the AirPods Family
Apple’s latest headphone drop came with a surprising price tag that only Apple, with its caliber of products, could expect. These AirPod Max headphones are built with 3D surround sound that adjusts based on your environment and head position, and they’ve got Active Noise Cancellation that blocks out the rest of the world with the press of a button.
The actual headphones themselves have a knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions for a great fit. They’re also built to switch between devices seamlessly and have on-head detection, so your music will pause if you need to remove them for a second. They come in five different colors, including our favorite, this sleek Space Gray.