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What the Pocket-Lint Award winners mean for consumer tech in 2013

Posted by Joe McNamara on 12th December 2012

We took a trip to the Pocket-Lint Awards 2012 to see what technology products released this year were considered the hottest properties. The site, hosting its 9th annual awards, has grown rapidly since its founding in 2003 by Stuart Miles and attracts around 3 million online users per month.

Stuart and editor Chris Hall were helped to judge this year’s awards by a panel of consumer technology experts including: Martin Stanford of Sky News, the Telegraph’s Matt Warman and Chris Davies, UK editor of Slash Gear.

So, here is my take on the winners and some of the most competitive categories of the Pocket-Lint Awards 2012:

  • Best game – Journey: In a month of epic gaming launches, competition for this award had reached boiling point. Ultimately, Halo 4 and the scintillating Assassin’s Creed III were edged out by TGC’s wandering adventure with its gorgeous graphics and gameplay. Journey perhaps won partly due to its simplicity of concept and perfection of execution. With touch, motion and gesture technology really taking off, 2013 may bring a gaming experience that truly is out of this world.
  • Best TV –It’s an interesting time for television at the moment; Sony (Bravia) and Panasonic (Viera) were so adventurous with their high-end TV sets that to pick a winner was too much to ask. Moreover, at a recent PRCA event, Rory Cellan-Jones questioned when the void between TV and the internet would be truly bridged, so perhaps that is one to look out for in 2013.
  • Best smartphone – Samsung Galaxy S3: Fittingly, as Android surpassed Apple in numbers of shipments in 2012, the widely acclaimed S3 took first place due to its sleek chassis and interface. 4G will shake this category up in 2013 as certain devices gain an advantage in terms of speed and capability. Still, device manufacturers will be looking to get creative with apps, interfaces and aesthetic quality.
  • Best app – Google Chrome: It’s been the year of mobile video and Olympic fever, yet still the search giant emerged triumphant against the BBC Olympics app. The fast and usable browser that we’ve got so used to on our desktops was made for mobile due to its simplicity. This powerful app adds credence to the theory that the smartphone is becoming our most important device.
  • Best tablet – Nexus 7: Tablets invaded CES 2012 and device manufacturers found new ways to implement Android and Windows operating systems. Victory for the Nexus 7, despite the launch of the iPad Mini, confirms that the tablet arms race is on. Asus signing a contract with Google to manufacture this stunning piece of kit could prove to be one of the best bits of business the company has done to date.
  • Best laptop – Apple’s MacBook Air 13” stood firm this year blowing all competition out of the water. Like ageing glamour models, ultrabooks and laptops are forced to get slimmer and sexier year on year as smartphone and tablets continually rob them of their reason for being. Microsoft has even entered the tablet market with its new enterprise model, the Surface – maybe a bitter pill for its legions of Windows laptop manufacturers. I for one still like laptops, especially when they look good and work efficiently. The MacBook Air still ticks those boxes.
  • Innovation of the year – Nike+ fuel band: Nike has a knack for turning devilishly simple ideas into a successful product and this wristband is proof. As you walk, run, and crawl around throughout the day, the lights on the band get brighter until you reach your daily goal – your optimum level of daily exercise. To appeal to an inner competitive streak, a clever iPhone app allows users to share and compare their results on social networks. The concept of using algorithms to connect smartphones to portable pieces of hardware can be used for all sorts of things: medtech devices, sports aids, and GPS to name a few. We’ll see what the innovators of 2013 dish up next year.
  • Product of the year – Windows 8: Microsoft has been accused of all sorts when it comes to Windows 8. The interface has radically changed and critics have dismissed it as an attempt to ‘be Apple’. In fairness, they’re damned if they don’t and damned if they do. Change it up, get called Apple; don’t change, get called a dinosaur. Windows 8 is set to have and has already had a major impact. It’s paved Microsoft’s way into the smartphone market; the Nokia Lumia epitomises exactly the quality the Windows Phone 8 should meet consistently. Furthermore, Microsoft’s raid on the tablet market simply could not have happened without an OS fit for mobile. Maybe just for once, Microsoft deserves a break. It’s done something different, albeit by venturing into spaces already owned by Apple and Google. What’s important is that Microsoft doesn’t stop here and continues to ‘think different’ (I had to) in 2013.

Joe McNamara