If you’ve been following us for some time, then you know how much we really love our tech gadgets. Nothing’s more exciting than being able to unbox a new device, play around with it for a while, and then proceed to write our thoughts on it. Throughout the year, there has been no shortage of high-profile releases in the gadgets space.
While there were obvious winners that clearly deserved to be profiled, take Apple’s products as an example, there were many other devices that we personally were more passionate about and attached to this past year. That’s why we have our editor’s choice picks here, a list of tech gadgets that we obsessed over in 2021. Many of them will actually surprise you, since the vast majority of them are quirky devices that we have gone on to enjoy day in and day out.
Therabody RecoveryAir PRO System
By Taylor Galla, E-Commerce Editor
This year, I’ve been loving using the Therabody RecoveryAir PRO System. It’s a pneumatic compression system designed to do what Therabody does best: help your body recover efficiently from activity. I had seen professional athletes that I admire using the tool on social media and was super excited to try it. Although it’s a little strange and feels like you’re being squeezed by two sleeping bags that cut off at the waist, it’s excellent. The design is very user-friendly, and it did reduce my muscle soreness and helped me bounce back faster after tough training sessions. Because I’m a daily cycler, it quickly became my favorite gadget of the year.
By James Schiff, Assistant Managing Editor
I’ve always loved video games, but no system has brought me as much joy as the Switch. Whether playing Mario Kart, Pokémon Sword or Super Smash online with my family across the country or digging in for some Hollow Knight adventures solo I used my Switch a ton in 2021. Especially since Nintendo has brought so many incredible indie titles to the platform, I have endless worlds to dip into when our’s is feeling less than appealing. And with the N64 virtual console now available, I’ll be able to slide right back into the halcyon days off my youth whenever the mood strikes. If there’s a better gadget that literally everyone should own these days, I don’t know it. I’d put the Switch over anything 10 times out of 10.
Runner-up: SONOS Symfonisk Speaker System
Courant Catch 3 Charging Pad
By Timothy Beck Werth, Site Director
So the Catch 3 isn’t new in 2021, and we actually first covered it in 2020. However, Oprah named it one of her favorite things in November, and she’s not the only one obsessed with this handsome charging tray. I received this as a gift from my beautiful girlfriend, who had my initials engraved on the leather. This sits right on my desk, and it’s pretty much always in use. If I’m not charging my phone or Kindle, I’m charging my Juul or earbuds. It’s basically the perfect Millennial tech gadget — it’s as practical as it is aesthetically pleasing.
Runner-up: Blueair Blue Pure air purifiers
Nutribullet Brew Choice
By Nina Bradley, E-Commerce Editor
I love the convenience of making a single cup using pods or a full carafe for the entire family, which is why my pick goes to the Nutribullet Brew Choice. It’s quick and efficient and even has a timer that alerts you when your coffee is ready. Best of all, it offers the convenience of choosing what you need: either a single serving or a whole pot full of coffee to get you going throughout the day. Just add in what you need and it does the rest for you. Now that’s convenience.
Runner-up: Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)
Jackery Explorer 1500
By Tyler Schoeber, E-Commerce Editor
The Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station has quite literally saved my ass more than once this year. To start off, the sheer amount of horsepower this puppy has is astronomical. I took it to a four-night music festival where a bunch of friends and I had to camp for the entire weekend, meaning we had no electricity. I brought the Jackery Explorer 1500 so we could charge our phones, speakers and have a little bit of light for when we couldn’t see at night. We started the weekend with a full charge, totally assuming the generator would die by the second night. Nope. We left with a 71% charge. And we used it, like, all the time. I don’t know how I managed to go on camping trips without the Jackery, but from here on out, that’s never going to happen.
Runner up: BN-LINK WiFi Heavy Duty Smart Plug
Samsung Jet Bot AI+
By John Velasco, Tech Editor
I was really, really impressed by the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ when I reviewed it, which is a departure from past efforts from Samsung with its line of robot vacuums. Sure, it’s a tank-sized robot vacuum compared to almost every other one on the market, but it was the best at avoiding obstacles, like charging cables on the floor and pet bowls. Not only that, but Samsung certainly made a huge leap forward in the category by proving to me that a robot vacuum can be an effective patrol bot in the home with its built-in camera — alerting me to whenever motion’s detected by it. And to top it off, it even comes with a self-empty charging base for even more convenience.
Runner up: Google Nest Cam Battery
Samsung 65″ Class The Frame QLED 4K Smart TV (2021)
By Barret Wertz, Managing Editor
I’m a pandemic statistic. After 15 years in Manhattan, I closed out 2020 by buying a house in upstate New York. One of the first things on my 2021 list to fill the new square footage? A big TV. I’d like to say I opted for the Samsung Frame TV because of the smart capabilities, superior technology and stunning resolution (all things I *do* value), but the truth is two-fold: I wanted something to blend into my meticulously Scandi decor, and the movers broke my old TV. After exploring the options offered by the electronics brand I didn’t know I was so loyal to (I’m going on my fourth Samsung television), I fell in love with the brilliant 4K picture, the massive variety of art options (available through both the Samsung Art Store as well as third party vendors like Etsy), and obviously, how great it looks displayed on the Samsung Studio Stand in my living room. Expensive? Yes. Worth the investment? Without a doubt.
Runner-up: SimpliSafe Home Security System